Category Archives: language change

Is ‘radicalisation’ a substitute for ‘brain washing’?

Brainwashing was once the label given to the process whereby someone was induced to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and accept contrasting and often opposing ideas. When the connotations were bad this was otherwise known … Continue reading

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Where’s the common-ground: different worlds or dumbing down?

Would you say that ‘hire’ means ‘replacement’, and ‘not repairable’ means ‘not worth repairing’? And that ‘Mary’s’ and ‘Mary s’ means the same thing? For some there are no differences! Recently another motorist drove into me. Instead of letting my … Continue reading

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Whatever happened to the language of facts and proof?

The simple answer to whatever happened to the language of facts and proof is that they have been conflated into the single notion ‘evidence’. One implication is that ‘evidence’ speaks for itself since it doesn’t have to be proved. But … Continue reading

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Does the shift from ‘conduct’ to ‘behaviour’ terminolgy reflect a shift in mental set?

Not too long ago we talked in terms of how people conducted themselves at work or in public. And before that we referred to the way people acted.  Now we seem to be  concerned with how people behave and / … Continue reading

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Police and Crime Commissioner: the Americanisation of British culture: the thin edge of the wedge?

Surely in a nation state policing is policing is policing; and were you to relocate from one part of England to another you would expect the same set of policing priorities to exist.  Apparently not so, now in England. In … Continue reading

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Delivering advice versus advising!

The days of advising others have passed and instead an  industry has been established which delivers advice. On the assumption that changing word form signifies a change in world meaning, what are the implications for this changed world? A clue … Continue reading

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“I deserve a bonus”: irregular conjugations

In his LANGUAGE IN THOUGHT AND ACTION, published in 1949 S.I.Hayakawa tackled the topic of how people use words and words use people. In doing so he constructed a number of irregular verb conjugations. I am firm. You are obstinate. … Continue reading

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Accessing how individuals are impacted by the loss of ‘affect’ and ‘effect’

When did you last hear of anyone being affected by government policy, the economic crises, climate change or the riots? And when did you last hear of anyone trying to effect a change, say, about the atomistic world-view thinking about … Continue reading

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Autism: to be or to have?

Proebsting’s succinct letter to the New Scientist  (5 November) –in commenting on a previous article “I’m autistic, I don’t care what you think” (15 October) – perhaps unwittingly raises more questions than he realizes. He is merely making a claim … Continue reading

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The British Psychological Society or a branch of the American Psychological Association?

In the British Psychological Society’s written evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology committee on the peer review process we find the following Americanisms: 1.1 “the main strengths of peer review lie in its usage of experts to … Continue reading

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