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Dumbing down vocab with Anatoly Liberman

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Anatoly Liberman
Anatoly Liberman
Photo Courtesy of Anatoly Liberman

Vocabulary is always changing — it’s gaining new meanings, losing old definitions and disappearing from daily conversation. It’s also being simplified, meaning more shortened words and basic vocabulary.

When we dumb down words, it can be perceived as an attempt to make high level concepts more understandable; making it easier to get our message across. Contrarily, it can also be a sign of low intelligence.

On Thursday, Kerri Miller spoke with Anatoly Lieberman, etymologist and professor of languages at the University of Minnesota, about the dumbing down of vocabulary.