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Jan. 30 2012

What’s in a word?

By Mark Malinowski | Posted in Host Blogs | 2 Comments

Saw a report on a morning news show the other day about the proliferation of vulgarity in mainstream entertainment, specifically in book titles.  The books in question all had titles that had to be blurred (pixillated, in high-tech parlance) because they are not allowed to be said (or read, for that matter) on television.  This is clearly a gimmick to attract attention to a book that one might otherwise not be very interested in.  Probably with good reason, but I shouldn’t make value judgements, should I?

One aspect of language that I find a bit distressing is the creation of words.  Don’t get me wrong, all language is evolutionary in nature, and new words become a necessity.  100 years ago, the word “television” didn’t exist.  Because televisions didn’t exist.  That is not what I am talking about.  I’m talking about words like “wellness.”  What the heck is “wellness?”  Is it anything like “wonderfulness?”  Now we don’t go to the clinic, we go to the “Wellness Center.”  Why, so I can hang out with all the “well” people? Instead of saying “wellness,” why can’t we say “good health?”  Or are we SOOOOO busy we don’t have time for two words when one will do.  Well, it doesn’t do.  That’s not evolution in language, it’s just lazy.

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Mark is WBJC's morning host. His full bio can be read here.

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