What I hate most about the opponents of equal marriage – aside from their closeted homophobia and blocking of decent egalitarian legislation, obviously – is when they claim to object to “changing the meaning of the word ‘marriage'”.
Last week it was reported in the press that the Oxford English Dictionary had updated its entry for the word ‘literally’, including a second definition, “informal, used for emphasis while not being literally true”, thereby legitimizing its longstanding misuse.
Now, obviously this enrages me to the point of bloodlust. However, I don’t see any of those people who suddenly appeared from nowhere, claiming to be linguistic purists when ‘marriage’ was at stake, protesting over this.
Where were you when “regular” started being used to mean “frequent” and “medium”? Where were you when people started using “action” as a verb, instead of just “do”? Where are you when British people talk about “movies” and TV “shows”? Or when a pub thinks it’s acceptable to serve a stew in a dish with a pastry puff and call it a “pie”?
This isn’t a hobby you can just dip in and out of. You think you’re a lexical pedant because you defended one word? I’ve been down in the trenches for years, fighting the idiots and the marketers and the jargon-peddlers.
Try living my life for a while. Try facing the threat of military discipline for pointing out your superiors’ spelling mistakes. Try sneaking around at night with a pot of Tipp-Ex and a black marker pen, adding and deleting apostrophes where necessary.
When you’ve done that, you might you have some credibility. Until then, you can fuck off, because this shit’s for real, and we don’t need any amateurs.