Friday, June 02, 2006

Confirm or Disconfirm

Okay, I mess around with words to be silly. But someone on Law School Discussion just said "in agreeance" followed by talking about someone "voicing his disagreeance" with a situation.

There's a scene in The Big Lebowski where the Dude, the Big Lebowski and Brandt are all in the Big Lebowski's limo, and Brandt tells the Dude, "We believe you are in a unique situation to confirm or, ahem, disconfirm this theory." It's one of the funniest moments in the movie, because if you were in a limo with a guy who said that, you'd be struggling not to laugh in his face. I'm guessing Mr. Agreeance saw that movie and didn't get that scene.

I'm not a language fascist, and I'm not against new coinages. I just ask that they serve some purpose. A new word that means essentially the same thing as an old word but with slightly different implications is good, because it increases our ability to express ourselves and communicate effectively. A new word that means exactly the same thing as an old word is bad, because it increases the vocabulary of the language (thus making it more difficult to master) for no reason.

Stop the insaneness!


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