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Re: Language Change

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Monday, January 10, 2000, 0:29
daniel andreasson wrote:
> Why would they? If no one uses those words, the kids never > hear them, they won't learn them and probably won't go around and > say them.
Well, there's a number of words in our language which are taboo, but are nevertheless used quite frequently, the so-called "four-letter words". And, in such a situation where words can easily become taboo, I imagine that there would be a few people who would mess up and say a taboo word, so the parents would have to make sure their kids don't pick up those words. To use a concrete example, I read of a case where a man named "Jack" died, so the word "check" was also taboo, they used "letter" in the monetary sense (i.e., "I paid with a letter" instead of "with a check"). It's conceivable that someone might accidentally say "check", either in a burst of forgetfulness, or having been gone for a while and not heard about Jack's death. -- "Old linguists never die - they just come to voiceless stops." - anonymous ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor