IMAGE: Titus Coan Memorial Library

The Use Of Words

PLEASE NOTE: Over the years and centuries the use of certain words change. Definitions, usage and connotations can become slightly or even drastically altered as the nature of communication in a society changes from generation to generation. Comparison of English from the 1800's to the 2000's is no exception and can well result in the writer's intent being misunderstood.

Words found in writings of the 1800's whose meanings or connotations have changed:
(some of these words today would be taken as an insult but back then would be commonly used simply to describe a condition or situation):

Dumb: Unable to speak or articulate words because of a physical disability or even a traumatic or awe inspiring moment.

Ignorant: Someone who is unaware of something or has not yet been exposed to a certain knowledge (not necessarily through any fault of their own.)

Stupid: Unable to comprehend what is being told (not necessarily from a lack of intelligence but rather a lack of exposure to a particular understanding.)

Fickle: Easily swayed from one opinion or action to another which can cause an unreliable state of commitment to a particular direction.

Intercourse: Deeper communication together (particularly intended to come to mutual agreement or state of being.)