On a Jeopardy rerun with Alex Trebek the question (actually the answer, given the shows format) was (I paraphrase)
Who resigned his commision in the US Army Air Force in April 1941 after President Roosevelt publicly rebuked him for his views?
The answer (actually the question--Why does Jeopardy do this answer-question thing, drives me nuts!) was
Alex Trebek then said Charles Lindberg's views on WW II were not politically correct.
This really struck me since Politically correct means, to quote Wikipedia:
a term used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense of disadvantage to members of particular groups in society.
Wikipedia also adds that the term is generally used pejoratively with an implication that these policies are excessive or unwarranted.
But Alex Trebek is using the term to mean incorrect or perhaps incorrect given what we know now or if you think history is written by the winners, then perhaps incorrect since Germany lost the war. But my point is that I really don't think the term politically incorrect makes sense here.
More recently I heard an anti-masker say
We should not let some woke school board take the right to not wear a mask away from parents and children.
Independent of if you are anti-mask-mandates or pro-mask-mandates, this seems like a strange use of the word woke which means, to paraphrase Wikipedia:
Having an awareness of racial prejudice, gender prejudice, sexual orientation prejudice, and the past and current discrimination they have and do cause.
I've seen it both positively and negatively.
The anti-masker's using of the term seems odd in that mask wearing is not a woke issue. Perhaps he should have said
We should not let some Nazi school board take the right to not wear a mask away from parents and children.
The term Nazi while not actually correct, conveys that the school board is authoritarian. However, he really could not use the term that since he was was a neo-Nazi and proud of it. That raises a question: what pejorative term can a Neo-Nazi use when they want to say someone is Authoritarian? I ask non-rhetoically.
But I am getting off topic here- my real point is that the word woke is being used to mean Authoritarian which is not even close to its original meaning.
The above are examples of how a word in English may change its definition over time, which is not really news, but I found the examples interesting since I saw the origin of these words.
BILL, THIS IS A COMPLEXITY BLOG! SO TALK ABOUT COMPLEXITY. OR MATH!
In math do words change their meaning over time? Yes. Here are a few
Function: at one time `function' implicitly means a function that occurs in nature. So only continous and perhaps diff functions qualified.
Sets: probably similar.
Efficient: At one time this was an informal notion (Joe Kruskal's paper on MST (see here) is an example of that), then it seemed to be P or perhaps BPP. For some its linear or O(n log n) with a small constant. Rather than say the notion changed, its more like it was never that well defined in the first place, and still isn't.
Constructive: The many diff definitions of this word could be a blog post of its own. In fact, I thought it was, but I could not find it. I did find lots of blog posts that use the word constructive in diff ways.
Elementary: Also has many definitions, though they are closer together than for Constructive. This one I did do a post on here