Somehow what was normal yesterday becomes abnormal today, and vice versa. Moreover the changes are sometimes so radical as to be enormous. They can even amount to a volte face. One example of this (which involves a glance forward to Chapter 4) would be the word “subjective.” Originally it was used to signify “existing or being in itself, or independently.” It was the existential predicate par excellence. Today it is used to denote the exact opposite: “existing, if at all, only in someone’s mind.” Moreover many common words cannot be said to have achieved a single semantic norm at all. An all too obvious example is the vocabulary of sociology and politics-words like “democracy,” “freedom,” “peace-loving,” “bourgeois.” But, quite apart from this special case (where there are axes to grind), ordinary educated language is full of such words.