But the greatest cause of verbicide is the fact that most people are obviously far more anxious to express their approval and disapproval of things than to describe them. Hence the tendency of words to become less descriptive and more evaluative; then become evaluative, while still retaining some hint of the sort of goodness or badness implied; and to end up by being purely evaluative -- useless synonyms for or for .
Unless followed by the world 'education', has now lost this meaning [seeking knowledge or doing something for its own sake -- i.e. 'freely' with no exterior motive]. For that loss, so damanging to the whole of our cultural outlook, we must thank those who made it the name, first of a political, and then a religious, party. The same irresponsible rapacity, the desire to appropriate a word for its 'selling-power', has often done linguistic mischief. It is not easy now to say at all in English what the word would have said if it had not been 'cornered' by politicians. , , , and have been destroyed in the same way. Sometimes the arrogation is so outrageous that it fails; the Quakers have not killed the word . And sometimes so many different people grab at the coveted word for so many different groups or factions that, while it is spoiled for its original purpose, none of the grabbers achieve secure possession. is an example; it will probably end by being a term of eulogy as vague as .