Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 12:13:41 -0500
From: Jonathan Gilbert JonG[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]DRAGONSYS.COM
Subject: Collected responses to question
Thanks to all who responded with suggestions of words for the situation
where a word becomes interchangeable with another, usually different
word. One of you suggested that I collect the responses and post them
to the list(s) ... so here you are.
Most responses suggested what were really similar or related
phenomena: jargon, slang, argot, hidden or secret language, private
speech, semantic drift or semantic shift, and metonymy (good
A few "unofficial" but descriptive phrases were suggested: "contextual
synonymy" and "is synonymous with the usual meaning of ..."
And finally, the verbs (a verb was really what my friend who originally
posed me the question was looking for) "collapse", "confuse", and
"conflate". My friend decided that "conflate" was the word she needed,
meaning "to put two things together so that they form one unit."
Thanks again to all; we're both quite impressed by how much response
the question has generated!
JonG[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]dragonsys.com