Language Snobs, Go Home!
By themselves, words can’t be right or wrong. They gain “rightness” in social context. Like coq au vin and fried chicken, there are times for keeping things casual and for gussying up. We understand that words are useful only because people use them – We don’t make them legitimate, we just reflect the way language is used.
So, let’s take a peek at nonstandard and informal words that have snuck into the dictionary through popular use. These words are the chicken nuggets of English—maybe not ones you’d have at a fancy dinner, but flavorful (meaningful) all the same. Word snobs might say these are utterly distasteful. But, honestly, who doesn’t sneak a chicken nugget now and then?