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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true." - Dorothy Parker


A good reminder to linguistic purists (i.e. the ignorant):

Merriam-Webster Online: The Word of the Day for March 24, 2009


For the first 250 years of its life, "negotiate" had meanings that hewed pretty close to its Latin root, "negotiari," meaning "to carry on business." Around the middle of the 19th century, though, it developed the meaning "to successfully travel along or over." Although this sense was criticized in the New York Sun in 1906 as a "barbarism creeping into the language," and Fowler's 1926 A Dictionary of Modern English Usage declared that any writer who used it was "literally a barbarian," it has thrived. The Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage claimed in both its 1975 and 1985 editions that it is "considered inappropriate in formal speech and writing," but our evidence does not show that there is anything particularly informal about its use."
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