But why does it always seem to stem from illiterates and liars?
Illiterates, for example, tear down useful words and phrases through simple ignorance and sometimes stupidity. An example from something I read recently will illustrate this point: “[I]t’s the exception that makes the rule.” This corruption was obviously drawn from the old adage, “The exception proves the rule,” which actually means, “The exception TESTS the rule.” The writer of “the exception. . . makes the rule” never bothered to learn what the original adage actually said and so his corruption makes at least some sort of (non)sense, based on his poor literacy.
Worse are those who wittingly corrupt words, terms and phrases to mean something opposite of their once common senses. Take for example a self-proclaimed “liberal democrat” whose words and deeds prove him to be a tyrannical statist bent on corrupting democracy.
That’s why I so often call out and condemn both illiterate and disingenuous abuse of English. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” as it were.