That obsession has faded over time. I've become much more relaxed... perhaps jaded, in my view of language. I can't help but chuckle at the grammaticians who obsess over chastising the rest of us for using the wrong word in the wrong place. Or non-words. Since as long as I can remember, one of my favorite words has been "ain't". Maybe it is my Brooklyn upbringing.
Ain't (apostrophe optional) is a useful word. It can mean "am not", "will not", "are not" or "is not". Sometimes it can mean several of those simultaneously. It is almost as versatile as a word that begins with "f" and ends with "uck", and I'm not talking about "firetruck". (Insert obligatory shudder here).
Language is a thing that is always in flux. And I'm not just talking about fairly new words like Staycation or Prostitot. Nor am I talking about turning a verb into a noun (or the reverse). Not sure what I mean? Let me Google that for you.
If it weren't for the evolution of language, this little contemplation of suicide wouldn't be so hard to understand:
But somehow, we forgot that. I blame it on the Gutenberg.
See, even when language was written, it could change from the hand of one copyist to another. But once that dang printing press came into the picture, then people got the idea that language was somehow a static thing. That there were unbendable rules. That anything that wasn't included in a silly little book called a dictionary wasn't a word. No matter how many people were actually using it.
Sure, you can make the argument that "words mean something." The problem is, they tend to mean different things to different people. And this dear friends, is where this meandering post is heading.
The meaning of the word