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Opinion >

Siblings divided by a common language

Christianity and humanism should be singing from the same hymn-sheet, argue Nick Spencer and Angus Ritchie

WORDS, as T. S. Eliot wrote, will not stay still. They "decay with impression", change with use. "Nice", for example, used to mean "foolish"; "silly" used to mean "blessed". Such is the nature of language.

Most of this just happens, slowly. "Silly" took centuries to migrate from "blessed", through "innocent", to become the "foolish" we know today. Sometimes, however, it is more deliberate.

Take the word "humanist". Originally associated with speech, education, and a ...

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