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In his recent op/ed piece for the New York Times, "Like, Degrading the Language? No Way," John McWhorter asserts, "A keystone of education is to foster awareness of, and respect for, diversities of opinion. Changes in language suggest that the general populace has become much more attuned to this kind of diversity. The increasingly wide and diverse circles of acquaintance Americans are likely to have may increase attention to a certain conversational civility." To support this claim, he says that recent changes in American English are not to be feared or mourned, but rather to be celebrated as evidence of a more nuanced, sophisticated culture. You can read McWhorter's article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/opinion/sunday/like-degrading-the-language-no-way.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=OP_LDT_20140408&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=2.
What do you think? Are our recent turns of phrase a sign of a more enlightened society or are they signs of our downward spiral as so many suggest?