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Old October 4 2012, 09:42 AM   #1
Jim Gamma
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Changing Language Usage

I know languages evolve, but sometimes it seems that the language usage - especially of businesses - is changing constantly. For example:

- You no longer "buy" something (especially not online), you "purchase" it. (Use of more complex language for no real reason.)
- On public transport, you're not a "passenger", you're a "customer". (Emphasis on the monetary transaction rather than the service being provided.)
- You don't have a "Personnel" department, it's "Human Resources" - or indeed just "Resources". (Why would you need a euphamism for 'Personnel'?)
- Individuals with non-standard levels of eyesight are "visually impaired" rather than "partially sighted". (Less obvious perhaps, but it emphasises the bad - they can't see as well - rather than the good - they can see a bit.)

As I said - I know language usage changes... but why? And are there any particular changes in language use you've noticed over the years? What do you think of these trends?
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