06-02-10 - Words that are changing meaning

"Deprecated" :

The primary meaning is "belittled, insulted, strongly disapproved of". Old dictionaries will only have this meaning. I contend that this word is basically never used in this way anymore. (the new meaning is "obsolute / superceded by something else and further usage is discouraged" ).

"Pander" :

I was shocked to find that the primary definition of pander in most dictionaries is "Noun : Pimp" , and the primary verb meaning is "to act as a pimp ; eg. to provide for the sexual gratification of others". I don't know when that was the meaning but it sure isn't now. I contend that 99% of people would say the meaning of pander is to "cater to the desires of the audience or target group, without scruples" , as in politicians pandering to the NAARP or filmmakers pandering to retarded people who want sex and action. (I want sex and action, just not retarded sex and action).


nothings said...

Any evidence that 'deprecate' in the computer sense has escaped outside of the computer development community?

I certainly encounter the other meaning occasionally.

kim said...

I like when the meaning not just drifts but goes 180 degrees the other way. We certainly have slang examples like "bad" in the 80's.

My fave is terrific (horrible --> horrific; terrible --> WTF?). Etymology sites claim it went through a slow translation first as an intensifier of the negative, then a generic intensifier, to a positive one.

Closest examples I can think of today are words like 'Wicked'. "That party was wicked awesome"

old rants