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Old 08-22-2011, 04:27 PM
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Bahalana Bahalana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
I'll call BS on this. When dealing with terms, they either have a specific meaning--which makes them useful--or they don't--and that makes them useless. In the specific instance of the term "polyamory," it either makes a useful distinction among the forms of nonmonogamy or it's useless and not needed. It's not an opinion that "swinging" refers to something specific and that "open" refers to something specific and that, to be useful, "polyamory" needs to refer to something specific. It's all about having words that actuall mean something to differentiate between this and that and the thing over there.
I'll call BS on your calling BS.

From Wikipedia:
The vocabulary of English is undoubtedly vast, but assigning a specific number to its size is more a matter of definition than of calculation. Unlike other languages such as French (the Académie française), German (Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung), Spanish (Real Academia Española) and Italian (Accademia della Crusca), there is no academy to define officially accepted words and spellings. Neologisms are coined regularly in medicine, science, technology and other fields, and new slang is constantly developed. Some of these new words enter wide usage; others remain restricted to small circles. Foreign words used in immigrant communities often make their way into wider English usage. Archaic, dialectal, and regional words might or might not be widely considered as "English".


My point is that English is a fluid language that is defined by usage. If we want to make up a word, and lexicographically Polyamory is a very recent acquisition, we have to fight with everybody else who may choose to use our newly invented word for the privilege of defining it. It is certainly possible for two people to have very different definitions for the same word.

A bit of trivia, the word awful once meant awe-inspiring, a little over three hundred years ago.
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Last edited by Bahalana; 08-22-2011 at 04:30 PM.
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