A Drunk By Any Other Name

"IF WORDS were conscious, they would often shudder at their own misuse." Many years ago, I read that statement in a book by Stuart Chase.

In English, we can say almost anything in old, established words that anybody can understand. Unnecessary revisions of basic speech irritate me. A forthcoming visit to the dentist reminded me of this when the term "false teeth" came to my mind and I wondered how, outside of textbooks for prospective dentists, these objects got to be "dentures."

There are dozens of such examples of changing everyday, clearly descriptive phrases to more... Login to read more
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