Helen's post, re-blogged here, got my mental wheels going on the subject of the English language. I believe it to be the world's greatest, but it is surely the most complex of them all. While I have only studied two other languages, Latin and German, I believe English to be more dependent on context than others and it is surely richer in nuances and subtleties. As a devoted fan of crossword puzzles I am constantly amazed at the almost unlimited variations in presenting clues to the same answers.
What Helen says about the usage of "guest" and "pro-life" makes me think of another example, i.e., "home". It has always irritated me that realtors insist on calling houses "homes". To me, a home connotes something more than a structure, it means a place which one had adapted according to one's own likes and lifestyle and for them to presume to sell me a home seems to usurp my privilege to take a house and make it my own. But when I go to the dictionary I see that the word "home" now includes all such variations. But that is the nature of our language, is it not?
I thought of another oddity about how our language works too. How about words like "disgruntled" and "nonplussed"? Why is it that nobody ever gets "gruntled" or "plussed"? And just think what society has done to the word "gay" since the early twentieth century! It's enough to discombobulate anybody. I think what I need is something to recombobulate myself.