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September 30th, 2016

Grim slide

It's trivial -- so many other and far larger awful things lie around us on every side -- but it seems as though Americans are simply forgetting how to use English words.  I am very well aware that language changes, usage loosens,  shortcuts become formal speech:  but mostly what I experience is a loss both of exactness and richness.  The march of the preposition "of" to take the place of prepositions that are more appropriate and meaningful is one example (my Facebook page has noted many).  Now i see that the new bill passed allowing US citizens to sue the Saudi government for damages related to 9/11 is called "Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act."  Justice against?  I had never seen this formulation and i don't understand how it can mean what it seems to want to mean.  I thought it must be a new [counterfeit] coining, but a quick search in Google Books show it used in many titles in many contexts, all recent.