It’s minor, I know, and I’m sure that the rest of the world finds me as periodically infuriating as I find it. Quite sure, in fact, since it will insist on letting me know. Heaven forbid in this era that anyone might define their use of language with common rules, after all. Everyone clearly seems quite sure that rules of language exist only so that those who know more of them can look down on those who know fewer.
At this point it probably won’t do any good to speak up for myself. It’s far too late for that, by all I see. Too late to point out that the reason I like rules and structure (and will bend them in accordance with certain secondary rules, at times) is because otherwise I don’t know what’s going on. Either a word has a certain meaning, or none at all: once learnt my mind doesn’t easily change such a thing. It’s a quirk of my way of thinking, as much as any other person’s mode of thought has its own quirks. I’ll not change an electron’s nature by calling it a proton, and being woolly in mathematics will get me nowhere.
I’m built for physics, I suppose.
And so what seems the rest of the English-speaking world will continue to claim that a word means exactly what they mean it to mean, no more nor less, and those of us who cannot even begin to guess without rules what they might wish to mean are left not just lost but insulted as well in passing as if it is so great an evil to dare value the rules by which I learnt to speak.
(…As for the degree of floweriness used in this particular post, it’s probably proof that I should never be allowed to write a blog post while also being shown one of the film versions of Macbeth.)