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  1. Nasagp's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    Use of "extinct"

    Greetings from a new member of this amazing website!

    My husband and I have engaged in a harsh argument about the use of the word "extinct". Let me elaborate: Literally, "extinct", according to all the dictionaries I have been visiting, means "no longer in existence". Idiomatically, though, I was taught and have always maintained that it could also mean "in danger of becoming extinct", meaning, not totally out of existence yet, soon though, unless measures are taken to prevent it.
    If I, for example, say that "it has been declared that those certain spotted frogs in our area should be protected because they are extinct", my husband winks and replies "how can you protect something which is extinct?" My argument has been that "extinct" might as well be used to signify the threat of a species becoming extinct, rather than it having ceased to exist already.

    I would greatly appreciate any insights

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 2,045
    #2

    Re: Use of "extinct"

    I can't speak for every English speaker, but I've never heard the word extinct used to describe anything that still exists.

  2. Nasagp's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 2
    #3

    Re: Use of "extinct"

    Thanks for the quick response!

    On my way to get my bum spanked by hubby now :(

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 2,045
    #4

    Re: Use of "extinct"

    I guess that means you both win. (wink)

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