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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,TB Is traditional song finished? (621* d) RE: Is traditional song finished? 07 Mar 10


I would say exactly the same to anyone who sought to oppose your's or Jim's definitions.

Academics can define words till the cows come home. But only those who agree to abide by those definitions, such as kids sitting English exams, need to do so.

Others merely have to make sure they're understood by the person they're talking to.

If they choose a new unique and totally personal meaning (as HD did), they will fail and probably be laughed at.

But if the word has acquired some new folk-meaning (sorry couldn't resist that) within their community then they have every right to use the word in this new way.

There are millions of examples of this - such as 'wicked' for 'good'.

'Folk' and 'traditional' (small t) have done this - and the evidence is there in spades for those who are willing to examine it.

'Traditional' (big T), when used to attribute ownership, has not.

It's a mess, but such is life - and it's a boon for us poets.

Some words are just poorly defined and mean different things to different people.

We can seek to clarify and streamline those meanings, but - assuming they have a genuine usage by a significant community - we can't deny them.

To do so is to risk being thought 'worse than foolish.'

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