Indignation about the misuse of English words often lies in the territory of crusty old people who don't like change. I tend to be wary of protests about usage because language evolves; a word begins with one meaning and with time adopts newer quite different meanings which repeated use eventually makes legitimate. How to balance precision and accuracy against natural linguistic evolution? I ask myself the question this morning when on The BBC's Today Programme, I hear the word "cynical"used twice on separate occasions when each time the speaker seemed to mean "sceptical". There can be no doubt of the difference. The one implies distrust or incredulity of human sincerity or goodness, while the other suggests an inclination to question or challenge accepted opinions. Cynics are thought of a having little faith in their fellows while sceptics may be admired for a balanced and moderating influence on affairs. The confusion between the two words is now almost an epidemic. So is the language changing? Or did I hear this morning professional communicators who should know better using it with a reprehensible sloppiness?
A rare example of onomatopoeia applied to something essentially abstract is the French expression et patati et patata meaning "and so on an so forth"