The meaning of words evolves with time. Unless they are confident in their masculinity, for instance, heterosexual males these days rarely sing with enthusiasm the exhortation to “don we now our gay apparel.” Likewise, even handlers of female dogs think twice before using the B-word in casual conversations about their canine clients.
Two other morphed-meaning words came to mind in recent days.
The first is “homecoming,” particularly as it relates to the annual event celebrated this past week at the local high school. The word seems to suggest the focus of the event is on alumni-those “coming home” to visit their alma mater. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s all about current students. And it probably should be.
The other word is “candidate.” Presumably, it began as an adaptation of “candid,” which means “free from bias, prejudice or malice.” Considering the rhetoric of those who aspire to be our elected leaders these days, we’ve moved a long way from that quaint concept, haven’t we? -DR