We create meaning by placing words in a context where they absorb their surroundings like herring in a sherry marinade. Use a word in a context that supports clear understanding of the intended meaning, and you make the word richer and stronger for yourself and for the time when someone else takes her turn at using it. Overlook your intended meaning, and you defocus the imagescatter the energyof the word. Word meanings can change over time; that's all well and good. "Awful" used to mean "full of awe," and seven centuries ago "nice" meant "foolish" (some might say it…
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