They are the pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power the words have power. Words can light fires in the mind of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest heart. Words create the word
Paul Tillich puts it well, Language… created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. Words are like nets we hope they’ll cover what we mean, but we know they can’t possibly hold that much joy or grief or wonder… as Jodi Picoult observes in change of heart.
Though I personally believe we developed Language because of our deep inner need to complain. Considering English, its strength and vitality lies in its readiness to welcome new words and expressions and to accept new meaning for old word.
Many of these words depart as quickly as they arrived. This was groovy, then they became cool, and now they rock!
Like the word dinner http://plinkyprompt.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/welcome-to-brinner/ that originally meant the first heavy meal of the day. Today has come to mean something totally different. In any case to quote T.S.Eliot from four quartets
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await voice
The other day we were discussion division of labour when my tween daughter burst into giggles, for them the word labour manifested only in the gynecological form.
Or when I took the classification of hero in a classical play and I referred to the hero as “Gay” which in our time, someone who was light-hearted and fun loving, but today the connotation is different. This goes for the word funny too. From being amusing funny has come to mean something unethical or out of the normal. Here are some more that I found http://kitabikida.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/neword/
The only great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.