The English language is forever changing but are all of these changes for the better? In a blog for Independent Voices ,Viv Groskop highlights some absurd additions to the English language with the help of David Foster Wallace. Some words critiqued within the article are merely in the line of fire for their aesthetic value. Pulchritude is disliked for being paradoxical, in that it means beauty but is in fact a rather hideous looking word. Other words are lambasted because of the company they keep. For example unique:

already means one-of-a-kind. So the… phrase ‘very unique’ is at best redundant and at worst stupid, like ‘audible to the ear’ or ‘rectangular in shape’”.

The media is often to blame for redundant or mutated language. I remember a linguistics teacher of mine complaining because the media frequently uses the word impacted. Although the word is in the dictionary it’s correct usage (according to my linguistics teacher anyhow) relates to teeth. If not in this context impact as a verb, though not incorrect, can disrupt the flow of a sentence (and rile certain linguistics teachers).

[via: The Independent]