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The I-Word, Inching Toward Retirement

September 29, 2012 (1 min read)


"Maybe Mr. Vargas and others will succeed in driving out “illegal.”  It won’t be the first time a word has become defunct through misuse or changing times. ... But a change in usage won’t necessarily change hearts.  As the linguist and former senator S.I. Hayakawa used to say, the word is not the thing, the map is not the territory, the symbol is not the thing symbolized.  “You don’t change the word, you change the attitude,” Mr. Hayakawa said." - Lawrence Downes, Sept. 28, 2012.