post thumbnail

Disgust – how did the word change so much? Evolution of languageAccording to the Oxford English dictionary, disgust is ‘a feeling of revulsion or strong disapproval aroused by something unpleasant or offensive‘, however originally the word was only used to refer to filth or rotten food, is this a result of language evolution?

So how did we start using this word so broadly?

We often refer to food or dirt as disgusting but we now also say that certain people, situations, behaviour and attitudes are disgusting.

Disgust is just one of so many words which have evolved, others include:

  • Awful: We use this word to describe something bad or unpleasant, however it originally meant deserving or full of awe.
  • Brave: We often refer to courageous people as brave, but this word originally signified cowardice.
  • Tell: The word we now use, meaning to give an account of, originally meant to count.
  • Counterfeit: The word which once meant legitimate copy now means the complete opposite, something which is not genuine.

English is one of the most vocabulary rich languages in the world, yet it appears that we are narrowing our vocabulary by avoiding synonyms and using one word in a number of different situations. Are we becoming too lazy?

Rather than disgust why don’t we use abominate, bother, disenchant, displease, disturb, gross out, offend, nauseate, outrage, repulse, revolt, shock or upset? These are all such expressive words and it seems a shame to disregard them for the sake of using the obvious alternative!

There is also the question of how the usage of a word affects its power. Has the word disgust lost it’s impact due to overuse? Once such a strong sounding word, we now use it so often that it’s meaning has become diluted.

Love is another example of a word which has become diluted. When I say that I love a film, do I really mean it? No, what I really mean is that I like it, but like sounds bland so I use love. It’s all part of exaggerating what we say to create more impact, but this in turn is lessening the impact of the words we are using.

So with languages continuously evolving, does this make it easier or harder to produce accurate translations? Let us know you thoughts via the comment box below.



disney-institute-lingua-translations 178 × 75
amazon-lingua-translations 120 × 28
procter-gamble - Lingua Translations 114 × 92
london-partners-lingua-translations 154 × 101
Swansea City | Lingua Translations 154 x 146
Man City | Lingua Translations 154 × 154
FC_Barcelona_(crest) 154 × 156
Star_Wars_Logo.svg_-1 1280 × 773
FiFA | lingua Translations 154 × 86
The-Score 232x120
M & S 271 × 186
Walmart-Lingua Translations 232 × 65
Welsh Government & Lingua Translations 400 × 400
Costco & Lingua Translations 232 × 155

 

TUI-Group Testimonial 205 × 46 EN

Ian Chapman – Director of Holiday Experience –

“Lingua Translations provides instant multi-lingual options for TUI’s 24/7 Holidayline, so 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year TUI’s customers are connected to an interpreter instantaneously. This service is designed to help holidaymakers who find themselves in difficulty and require non-English language assistance.

The service offered by Lingua Translations provides us with instant translation for every destination we travel to, and has proved invaluable.”

Roland Garros 2018- Useful Vocab!

The French open 2018 Roland Garros is almost here!     On the 21st May, some of the best will take to the clay courts to compete for the French Grand Slam title. Now, when it comes to clay, we’re always going to think it will be Rafael Nadal, but this year, who knows! Could …

Read More

FIFA World Cup 2018 – Russia

FIFA World Cup 2018 The domestic football season has ended we now know our national champions for the year. Next up are the finals of the Champions League and some domestic tournaments. This can only mean 1 thing now – the internationals are approaching! The FIFA world cup is 1 month away! Every 4 years …

Read More
Get a quote today