Have you noticed how language is gradually changing? I’m referring
to the English language used here in the United States.
One example that comes to mind is the use of the word “healthy.” When
I was in school, we were taught that the word “healthy” meant “enjoying
good health” or “freedom from signs of disease,” as a “healthy” person.
“Healthful” was the word used to describe something that was “beneficial
to health of body or mind.” You could say that a vegan lifestyle is
healthful because it keeps you healthy. But increasingly, especially in
ads, the word “healthy” is being used instead of “healthful” to describe
foods, for example.
Some other changes in usage appear to be associated with “political
correctness.” For example, male and female theatrical performers are now
referred to as “actors.” So I assume that it must be considered
“politically incorrect” to describe a female as being an “actress” but a
male as an “actor.” The same goes for “author” and “authoress,” or
“poet” and “poetess.” Now it is “author” or “poet” only.
When my husband and I play the word game Boggle, we keep two
dictionaries handy: Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary and
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. It’s interesting how so many
words are considered archaic: words such as thee, thou, hast, dost…
I wonder if future generations will consider some of the words
commonly used today as “archaic.”