31st August 2020

I have a need for exactitude in communication, a precision in language that leaves no doubt, no chance of misunderstanding, no necessity for further clarification. The English language is a wonderous tool for this purpose, having within its command a lexicon of seemingly endless variance, allowing for an infinitesimal coloration or shading to the most mundane of subject, object or other grammatical part.

Kind of like, similar too, a bit like, almost the same as, are all anathema to me. The Oxford English dictionary and its multitudinous ancillary volumes have withing their perfectly pressed linen board covers the exact, settled, decided, established, concrete, and constant descriptor required for almost every circumstance.

Usage, common usage if you will, has of course shifted some of these meticulous specifics to the dusty shelves of dictionary corner, perhaps even to editions long out of print, difficult if not impossible to locate. Thankfully, they remain in the vague shadows of oral memory, repetitious rhyme and colloquialism. Quests for these misplaced gems of veracity proliferate our daily conversation and writing, generally resulting in a long and tedious search of the lingual apex.

Collective words used appropriately have a well-defined descriptive meaning. If I point to a flock of birds and describe it as a murder it indicates crows, a parliament owls, a brood chickens, a siege cranes. Perhaps the usage is dated, even antiquated, but still relevant to those whose everyday vocabulary includes the definitions. Obvious dangers arise however when a supposed exactitude is used descriptively for an incorrect object.  This is particularly societally prevalent in matters scientific, philosophic, politic and religious, where the incorrect use oft results in misdirection from the relater and ambiguity for the listener. Over indulgent verbiage is quite as misplaced as vagary.

For a species who highest achievement is quite probably the capacity for intercommunication we constantly prove exceeding inadept at the process.

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