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What does modern actually mean?

I learned today that modern doesn’t always mean what I thought. I’ve always believed the definition of modern is “now” or even “recent times”. Apparently – in architecture and art at least – it means “up until the early 1970s”. Everything after that is post-modern.

I’m pleased to report that the dictionary agrees with what I thought the definition of modern is (I’ve just checked). I’m not sure what the art world is going to do when post-modern stops being… well… modern. Start using the term post-post-modern?

Languages are fluid and change as each generation coins new words or use old words in new ways. But it’s a bit disconcerting when one group redefines a word and use it in a different way to other people.

Or maybe not.

There are probably other examples of words that have different meanings depending on what subject is being discussed.

I can’t think of any off the top of my head though.

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