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Reply #22: "Just because a word has been misused, even widely, does not mean one must accept that use of it." [View All]

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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-10 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. "Just because a word has been misused, even widely, does not mean one must accept that use of it."
Quite true. Just because everybody uses the word "tree" to mean one thing doesn't mean you have to agree. You can, if you wish, have your very own personal dialect of English and define all the words exactly the way YOU and only YOU wish to define them.

However, real language is, and always has been, "open source". The makers of dictionaries rely on one and only one final authority: usage. A word means what it is widely believed to means. Nothing more, and nothing less. All dictionary entries are justified by citations, and citations are common usage.

I know you would rather have veto authority on the meaning of English words, but you don't. Every word in English means exactly what it is widely accepted to mean. If you use the language by a different standard then you are not using standard English. It's that simple.

You say: "I think that if you ASK, just about ALL self-identified atheists will tell you that they have a LACK of a belief." I think this would be an EXCELLENT subject for a DU poll! My personal experience has been that self-proclaimed atheists I know almost unanimously state that they BELIEVE in the NON-EXISTENCE of God.

Can you post polls? How about putting it to the test?

Poll for Atheists only: Which best reflects you position?

1) I believe that God does not exist.
2) I have no belief, one way or the other, about the existence of God.
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