By Raymond Williams
Now revised to incorporate new phrases and up-to-date essays, key terms specializes in the sociology of language, demonstrating how the main phrases we use to appreciate our society tackle new meanings and the way those adjustments replicate the political bent and values of society.
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Extra info for Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society
There are distinctions in these uses, but also considerable and persis- tent overlaps. What is then interesting is the very early use of common as an adjective and noun of social division: common, the common and commons, as contrasted with lords and nobility. The tension of these two senses has been persistent. Common can indicate a whole group or interest or a large specific and subordinate group. (Cf. ’) The same tension is apparent even in applications of the sense of a whole group: that is, of generality.
This use has been revived in several subsequent periods, including mC20, but is still not common. Collectivism, used mainly to describe socialist economic theory, and only derivatively in the political sense of collective, became common in 1C19; it was described in the 1880s as a recent word, though its use is recorded from the 1850s. In France the term was used in 1869 as a way of opposing ‘state socialism’. See COMMON, DEMOCRACY, MASSES, SOCIETY Common 71 70 Commercialism, Common COMMERCIALISM Commerce was a normal English word for trade from C165 from fw commerce, F, commercium, L, rw com, L - together, merx, L - ware or merchandise.
The degree of formality originally important in convention is now almost wholly lost, except in this specialized use. In normal use convention is indeed the opposite of formal agreement, and can be used quite neutrally. Conventional, however, usually expresses the unfavourable sense. On the other hand, after the invention of the atom and hydrogen bombs, conventional weapons were favourably contrasted (from c. 1950) with nuclear weapons. See CONSENSUS COUNTRY Country has two different meanings in modern English: broadly, a native land and the rural or agricultural parts of it.