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Was curious cuz, on another board recently, someone interpreted them to mean emphasis Probably the same board where I tried to explain that a joke that requires an emoticon to identify the humor isn't a joke at all. Okay, scare quote, didn't know that they were called that but I use them in e-mails and informal writing. Now, what's the word for when something that started as slang to mean something (usually an insult) becomes so mainstream that nobody specifically attaches the meaning for its creation to it anymore. For example, the affected pronunciation and spelling of "artiste" precluding our actual ability to use the real word in conversation. Gratefully,MrsFourStarDave
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