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Replacement Definitions

My daughter will never eat Spam. Sometime between my childhood and hers, the canned pseudo-ham product became an unwanted e-mail ad. Likewise, "surfing" involves a mouse, and she'll experience "hotspots" long before menopause.

The exponential expansion of technologies means that "English is probably changing faster than any other language," notes linguist Alan Firth. But the overnight creation and redefinition of English words (I just discovered my cell phone might be blue-jacked) has traditionalists alarmed.

Prince Charles, for example, has launched a campaign to preserve "English English." With restrained royal indignation, the prince says, "People tend to invent all sorts of nouns and verbs and make words that shouldn't be. I think we have to be a bit careful, otherwise the whole thing can get rather a mess." To make his case, perhaps he should start a blog.

For decades church leaders have sought to make the language of faith more ...

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