Victor's Ramblings

Interesting Words.

Cranny. I'd like to start a campaign for this word to be used without its usual partner 'nook'.  Anyone with me?
Obfuscation. What a marvellous learned-sounding word!  If we use it a lot, we will succeed in obfuscating our writing.
Nice We all like this word, it can be used to mean almost anything positive.  But its earlier meaning was 'subtle, delicate, discriminating'.  And before that it meant ' fastidious, respectable'.  And its old French and Latin roots meant 'silly and ignorant'.  This word has had an interesting journey!
Jolly Wouldn't it be nice if everyone reverted to using jolly instead of bloody or even cruder epithets!
Pulchritude What a smasher!  Not many people know this word, so we can impress everyone by using it heaps!
Absolutely This word seems to be on everyone's lips these days.  It is absolutely over-used. Try Quite! instead.
Gay Once upon a time, this word meant happy, jolly. Now schoolchildren snigger when they hear it. What a shame!
Consultant Put this word into your job title and you will triple your salary! Replace dustman or garbo with Recycling Consultant.  Replace car salesman with automotive solutions consultant.
Issue This used to mean 'The act of sending or giving out something.', or 'a topic for discussion'. Now many people are using it to mean 'problem'. It has been given a negative connotation. I shall drive. Do you have an issue with this? Before long, teachers will announce "Boys and Girls, today we shall have an arithmetic issue class".
Discriminate This word still means 'to recognize and understand a difference'.  A man of discrimination is a man of good taste. We should discriminate between right and wrong.  But many people, particularly politicians and bureaucrats, use this word with a very negative connotation. Today, discrimination is always evil.
Gender Once upon a time this word was a grammatic term. In German and Latin there are 3 genders:- masculine, feminine and neuter. In French, Italian and Spanish there are just the 2: masculine and feminine.  Adjectives have to agree in gender with the noun that they qualify. Of couse, English doesn't have grammatical gender. So these days it has become a popular mistake to use 'gender' to mean 'sex'. For example, "the gender of our cat is female"