Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

To me it describes excessive concern with minor details and rules.

but thats none of my business tho




I think the problem is "what words actually mean" has become a minor detail to some people.

My high school English teacher would not have accepted "language evolves" as an excuse for things like confusing "then" and "than" and not knowing the meaning of the word "literally".


Using literally to mean figuratively is just fine. They're being ironic, or hyperbolic. Then and than mean different things. To a lay person, a gif is a short, looping, soundless video. I'm not sure what is being lost by not distinguishing between this and a short mp4 file with no sound on loop.


Your high school English teacher was wrong. Words mean whatever people think they mean, much like how money is worth whatever people think it's worth. Of course as an individual you can't unilaterally redefine a word, just as you can't declare that a $100 bill is worth as much as a car.


Until it's time to get a normal job.


At most jobs it's more important to communicate effectively than it is to know the historical definitions of words.

Of course, words don't have universal meanings. Lawyers and scientists use the word "theory" differently, for example. In any given environment, you should use words the way the people you need to communicate with expect them to be used.


And then there's the "what file extensions actually mean" problem.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: