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Terrible - terrific
Weird that innit?
is probably the most obvious one.
I remember witnessing the carnage once when a friend of mine got his words muddled in front of dozens of people. He was trying to describe, I don't know, the holocaust or a serial killer or something.
Halfway through 'terrible' he tried switching to 'horrific' and appalled everyone instead. I waited a good while before defending him...
The funny thing about that is that using terrific in that context is correct.
I wonder if there's an etymological trend towards dumbing-down such potent words? I'm thinking of awesome in particular. Sublime too maybe.
Awesome and sublime at least have meanings that aren't too far removed from their original. The worst culprits I can think of are 'nonplussed' and 'literally' - the latter in particular seems to be moving to a meaning completely opposite to what it actually is.
There was a good Facebook status update yesterday positing that by 2014 'lol' will have replaced the fullstop.
Judging by at the stuff my little brother and his mates write on there, he's already doing all he can to fulfil this prophecy.
all because i use them correctly.