Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Sat Nov 15 14:54:44 EST 2003

--- Melissa Proffitt <Melissa at> wrote:
I think that common usage is
> what accounts for more
> recent dictionaries including the "new" definition
> as correct, since I
> believe they track how people actually use words as
> well as their original
> meanings.
I agree, languages change and it is futile to try to
keep them static, I was just being needlessly
pedantic. I suspect that the names of most diactric
marks were originally what they did, and that that
only gradually became associated with the sign for it.

> But that's interesting to know.  If even most German
> speakers seem unaware
> of what an umlaut actually is, doesn't that make you
> wonder about the
> meaning of "actually"?  :)

All fans of Beachcomber (JB Morton) know that
"actually" is the Persian word for fertiliser.


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