6/02/2010

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 (the new meaning is "obsolute / superceded by something else and further usage is discouraged" ).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).

2 comments:

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