"Correctitude implies nowadays a formal or fastidious use of words;
and what is wanted is not so much the correct as the living use of words.
It is the memory of the meaning of a word which is the life of the word."
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
(1874-1936) British essayist, critic, poet, and novelist
Illustrated London News
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Reader comments about this quote:
As used to enslave the people, words do not express the concepts, principles, or meanings they once did. The dumbing down of America was done in great part by eliminating the vocabulary of freedom.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 3
    "Correctitude" is now the Politically Correct (PC). Living use of words means, for example, the 2nd Amendment used to say each of us has the right to own and carry guns, but now it means only some of us has that right and only if you jump thru hoops and regulations and aren't crazy and ...
     -- JOe, Rochester, MI     
  • 2
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    This should be on the front page of every Eng.Lit paper. Memory and life are the key word here. Nothing should be written in concrete, nothing.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
  • 1 2
    Hear Hear, Mike, "The Vocabulary of Freedom."
    "It is the memory of the meaning of a word which is the life of the word." Foundations of old give life to our Republic at Liberty a new. " In the beginning was the word." The Spirit of truth through the written word gives life and light to the eyes of legality and Integrity.
     -- Ronw13, OR     
  • 1
    In this PC world, every word can mean anything that some snowflake wants. And , they will need "safe places" if they deem it aggressive. Free speech is dead or on life support at most colleges.
     -- jim k, Austin     
  • 1
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