Language Update 11/09
Professor Polistra brings us an update on Words In The News.Penultimate:
Originally meant 'next to last', now means 'beyond ultimate'. In a story on the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall breakout, we hear of "Vernon Walters, the penultimate diplomatic insider ...."Low-efficient or high-efficient
instead of -efficiency. As in high-efficient heating systems or low-efficient medical care. Not clear how this oddity arose; it doesn't really save any time or keystrokes.Cables.
Not a new word but a surprising oldie, popping up in stories about official communications from General Eikenberry in Afghanistan. Back in the era when international telegraph traffic passed through real undersea cables, the term 'cable' meant any telegram using those cables. It evolved to mean any telegram with an official or journalistic purpose; more specifically a telegram written in the peculiar sublanguage of 'cablese'.
Starting in the '30s, most international traffic was actually by shortwave radio, but the term remained in use. Nowadays we can assume that Gen. Eikenberry is using some form of encrypted satellite system. Nevertheless, an official message passed by electrical means is still a 'cable'.Social-engineered.
[Later addition] Originally, social engineering
referred to using subsidies and government rules to shape society in certain ways. Now it means 'using social networking (eg Facebook) to pull yourself into a place or position that you don't really deserve.' This use shows up repeatedly in discussions of the party-crashing Salahis: "These individuals social-engineered their way into the White House."Settled. The dirtiest and deadliest word in the English language.
Global warming is 'settled science', and Roe v Wade is 'settled law'. When something is 'settled', it is completely anti-scientific, anti-logical, anti-legal, and intentionally designed to kill millions of human beings. 'Settled law' is a euphemism for 'crimes against humanity.' 'Settled science' is a euphemism for 'crimes against nature.'
Labels: Language update