I am severely behind, having been in Boston for 9 days for a concert only to return to Rockville in time for the dress rehearsals for another concert. Plus, the current DD wotd offerings have been less than inspiring (so far). So, from my archives, I offer:
Denizen v. Citizen (DD definition link)
The denizens of DD need to come up with some better words. Actually, this is a mildly better word, which I might be more inclined to use. I am a denizen of several restaurants, longingly with a fantastic sushi restaurant in Natick, and now a pretty decent Vietnamese establishment, as well as a denizen of various hotels in Boston near Symphony Hall. So the only difference between "an inhabitant or resident" and "a regular who frequents a place" is that in the first, you are a putative permanent resident, whereas in second you are an overglorified temporary "resident". The physical existence of the place is irrelevant. Denizens of the internet are just as identifiable as denizens of a favorite watering hole. Now, the British definition is just an interesting legal twist on a status somewhere between wanting to be a permanent resident, but having only a temporary status at the time. As I one day might want to be a denizen of South Africa or New Zealand, both of which based their legal system on the British, I may have cause to use this word on myself. In fact, my husband's aunt and uncle may be working towards denizen status now in New Zealand. Which leaves (no pun intended) us with the plant/animal usage. So, I heard about all the quarantine laws in Australia separate from New Zealand as a result of the introduction of some type of squirrel/beaver in the latter for which they had to introduce a predatory bird which then took over, but these would hardly be considered denizens. Just as weeds would never make the grade as denizens of a garden. Of course, this word does make me wonder about its relationship to "citizen" which has quite a bit of a similar spelling. And having checked into the etymologies of these words, they are in fact related, which makes the real difference between these words the evolution from the French language (for citizen) and middle European (for denizen) both to the British legal system. Citizen was the original inhabitant and denizen is the later inhabitant being or in the process of being absorbed into the original population. Ok, I didn't expect that to be such the legal discourse, but then I never do.