Sunday, October 18, 2020

What's In A Name?

Some words are widely misunderstood, others have changed their meaning over time, and some have been deemed too archaic to be worth recording.

When Juliet  Capulet said, "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" She did not mean, "Where art thou, Romeo?"  She meant, "Why, Romeo, did you have to be born the son of Lord and Lady Montague?"

Maybe the rot set in the 60's with a song, "Don't sleep in the subway, darling" when the lyrics included a reference to "Whys and Wherefores" as if the two words were not synonyms.

One cannot trust online dictionaries for guidance, it seems... although, I can still find "absquatulate" (to decamp) and both meanings of "momentarily" are available (in a moment or for a moment).  However, on Wednesday Oct 14th, unilaterally, one dictionary changed the definition of "sexual preference" in hours.  Normally, Dictionaries announce new inclusions and deletions once a year.

Some articles on the topic show images of George Orwell (aka Eric Arthur Blair), to suggest that this is a frightening, "Orwellian" move by an internet influencer to change language to support a political narrative. But, that is all by the by. Or by the byway!

Nouns are important, as are all words. Without words, we cannot reason. When the meaning of a noun or verb changes suddenly, myriad written works become --perhaps-- obsolete or offensive, or inaccurately convey the writers' intended meaning at the time of writing.

Legal bloggers   Adrienne S. Ehrhardt, Rebecca L. Gerard, Elizabeth A. Rogers
, Guy B. Sereff , and Ryan T. Sulkin for Michael Best and Friedrich LLP  have generated a very useful compendium of Cyber Security vocabulary terms


On a completely different level, the copyright office is extending copyright protection to blogs.  It appears that a blog like this one would have to file jointly (because there are 3 of us), every quarter, for copyright protection of up to 50 individual posts.

Legal blogger  Brandon W. Clark   for McKee Voorheis and Sease PLC explains.


For blogs where authors serialize a novel, Dickens style, this would be very useful indeed.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry 

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