"People using a word out of context does not change the meaning of the word" - I absolutely disagree, at least when ENOUGH people use the word out of its original context. That is precisely how the meanings of words change over time.

You and I both constantly use words that have drifted from their original meanings. The third word you use, "entitle", is an example!

(Of course, a small number of incorrect usages don't add up to a change in meaning.)

This is not some eccentric or extremist view I have, it's a pretty mainstream view that I suspect you would find most scholars of language - including lexicographers - share.

There are no "official" meanings to words (perhaps with the exception of some technical scientific, legal, etc.) words; the origin of a word does not define its meaning; and Urban Dictionary, while an entertaining site, is hardly an authoritative source of anything!

Barnaby is a journalist based in Suffolk, UK. By day he covers science and public policy; by night, film and classical music. He has also been a cinema manager.

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