Friday, June 29, 2007

Word Inflation

Which is not to be confused with "Inflationary Language". This is a perfect example of how a word can come to mean its exact opposite through use of other words when this word would have been, well, adequate. See sense 2c below.

adequate, a.

1. Equal in magnitude or extent; commensurate; neither more nor less. Obs.

2. a. Commensurate in fitness; equal or amounting to what is required; fully sufficient, suitable, or fitting.

b. Without const.: equal to the occasion, competent to deal with the situation.

c. In slightly derogatory sense: hardly sufficient or acceptable; barely reaching a minimum standard.

3. Logic. Fully answering to, or representing.