I'm a word fanatic. Not really a word snob, 'cuz I really like words like 'cuz and 'yo' and 'l8tah.' I think they're perfectly fine. But I am particular about what words I will use and what their meaning is. I care deeply about what words' connotations and denotations are. I think this should matter - to everyone - because otherwise communication is IMPOSSIBLE. It's not just difficult or unlikely, it's IMPOSSIBLE.
I don't like the word 'irregardless' anymore than the next lexiconically fanaticized person, but I know what a person is trying to say when they use is. They mean 'regardless' and that's fine. Irksome, but fine.
But recently - well, more like the last five to eight years, I've noticed the re-fashioning of a very common word to mean something that seems, to me, to be very UNcommon. The word is "space." And iot has gone from meaning an area, or room, to meaning something that I can't quite grasp that more than irks me. Think of how you've heard it used recently. "Safe Space" or "Men's Space" or "Women's Space" or "Creating Space." Say them out loud. Think of how they've been said. Almost as if the word "space" were somehow illuminating or illuminated or perhaps enlightened.
Totally unscientifically or unacademically, I do think this stems from the yoga craze of the latter part of the 2000's (2005-2010) when women who wanted to make sure to sell the 'mystical' and 'exotic' aspects of yoga starting talking about 'space' in these terms. I mean, I know "Safe Space" has been around for a while, but it wasn't said in yogic tones the way it is now. And I know that there's precedent, "To take up space: is sometimes used figuratively. So, maybe "space" does mean more than just an area, or a room. I'm not sure.
Being a word fanatic, I like my words to mean what they mean and not anything else that people have to guess at. I like to say all the words that need to be said for some other person to comprehend what I'm saying. I don't like there to be insinuated meanings in my words - where some words are held on high and others are held down. I'm sure I'm guilty of doing this all the time. But when I become aware of a word like this, I like to point it out and talk about it.
And now, I need my space.
I give you space to respond. You have space to respond. Take the space to respond.