A thought ran through my head. The word dearth came to mind. I found myself thinking... that's probably another word, the word police believe shouldn't be used .
Because it's not familiar .
Because it sounds like something else.
Because we live in a time when people of little moment suggest a word similar to another should have its meaning stolen and substituted for something else. .
The behavior is a relic of the recent past, when ignorance of some members was such as to be totally ignorant of their own ignorance but being assembled in numbers, completely confident of their own erudition, had they even known what the word meant.
Anachronism is a word heard recently. I had been meaning to look it up in the dictionary. I use the book for accurate spelling. I acquired my vocabulary mainly from voluminous reading and from a pure love of the language I speak.
I hear music in the cadence of language. I cringe to a malapropism as with flat note in music. Or with a word ending with ng pronounced as nk. I cannot understand how a person reaches maturity without learning to pronounce something or anything properly. Is that a speech impediment..or what?
Anachronism means " a person or thing that is chronologically out of place: one from a former age that is incongruous in the present".
How can that be applied to a word in a living language How can language not be living.
Like great river is a moving body of water.
It starts with a gurgle, flows and twists and turns and gathers strength and roars and swirls and eddies and whirls into a pool, murmurs and rages and tumbles in a waterfall and races out to the sea.
Many words are not used in everyday language. Beautiful words. Words which perfectly suit their purpose. Words which convey a thought completely. Promote laughter. Prompt tears. Words which reduce excess verbiage tenfold. Words not used because of a lack of a sense of self. Or joy in life.
Time-worn words never fade in their meaning. Never fail to comfort or scourge.
Where did words come from. How were they formed . Like diamonds or pearls.
They are found treasure, free for the taking by anyone and everyone with the inclination or courage.
No license required. No permit needed. We live in a time and place and culture where the law guarantees our right to free use of our language.
Imagine a time when that was not true. There are those unwilling to accept it still
We also have among us unlikely self -important, self- appointed arbitrators of the use of words.
It is their right to portray themselves exactly as they are.