Meaning does build past meaning.
Jon E. H. Burton
1

And I suppose you’d prefer that “ironic” not be redefined by Alanis Morissette. :-) But it has been redefined. Words are redefined every time we use them. Communication doesn’t happen on a fixed protocol because there are myriad cultures that operate on different starting points and don’t stay sync’d up with each other. The first time someone said “I’m literally dying here,” was almost certainly satire or joking hyperbole, but with enough repetition, it became a way to flag “an extreme position.” And probably some kids heard it and for them ‘figuratively’ was the original definition. They’d never heard it any other way. And so it gained currency.

If ‘t be true thee lifer all people cleave to the original definitions, thee has’t to preventeth miscommunication, stylistic prose, and children, for they be aught that language bends about.

;-)

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