On Semantics

About: william f. buckley jr. on democrats & 2008 - Fowlerspeak-Goodspeak

WFB refers to Fowler & the presidential debates as a source of interesting words:
source: ...

He offers us, for instance, a list of words owing their vogue to the joy of showing that one has acquired them: allergic, ambience, ambivalent, catalyst, complex, equate, global, idiosyncrasy, protagonist, repercussion, seminal, streamlined.

He gives another list of words taken up merely as novel variants on a more common word: adumbrate for sketch, blueprint for plan, breakthrough for achievement, built-in for solid, ceiling for limit, claim for assert, integrate for combine, intrigue for interest, liquidate for destroy, reaction for opinion, optimistic for hopeful, redundant for superfluous, rewarding for satisfying, significant for important, sabotage for wreck, target for objective, smear for calumny

... These nuances are something that the Unhack The Brain Project will have to find a way to deal with - if possible.


  1. semantics


Mark de LA says
seth 2008-02-04 08:08:44 9227
It will be interesting to watch the word usage during the coming campaign.
I am so sick of the primary coverage I can't believe I will be interested in the regular election coverage.  To resurrect an applicable quote:
source: ... There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Benjamin Disraeli
British politician (1804 - 1881)
WFB's article just reminds me of how difficult it will be for any program to derive the semantic content of a news article automatically - particularly in the domain of politics!

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