A couple years ago, I first encountered the word “nonplussed.”
By context, I took it to mean disinterested, which later proved to be the exact opposite, speaking volumes to either my reading comprehension or the author’s use.
But I decided that would not do, and resolved to use it as I pleased, “irregardless.”
I chose to do this because of my experience with the word “myriad.”
Long ago, I had a teacher whose pet peeve was misuse of the word “myriad.” When we encountered a misuse in some required reading, our assignment was to bring in a dictionary. The next day we all read the definition, and found it, uniformly, to be “10,000.”
Therefore, “He looked up at the myriad stars” was proper (allowing some “guesstimation”), while, “A myriad of possibilities” was not.
However, in the subsequent years, the improper was so overused that the dictionary simply updated itself to reflect an alternate use.
The wrong use.
There is an argument for colloquity, but why then didn’t the dictionary update the word “Bad” with the release of Michael Jackson’s album to additionally mean, “Good?”
So you may gather my mirth at the intentional misuse of a word to mean the literal opposite!
Still, I’d clearly crossed the point of absurdity.
Or so we might think…
Obviously, I accept full responsibility for breaking the English language, and warn I shall continue to do so until my lenticular demands are met.
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