The problem we have today is the complete disassociation between words and their meaning.
Vincent`s right that in today`s society, most people end up with titles
having no meaning at all. But does that anecdotal evidence therefore
mean there never was, never will be an actual substantive meaning to
Chief Executive Officer?
We used to have a "sales clerk." Now we have "Sales Associate," and "Assistant Manager."
All this comes from one of the most destructive books of the past
century, all about "reality therapy." It was part of the modern
"deconstruction" theory of linguistics, and began what we now have as
"political correctness." It also formulated the basis for "everyone has
a right to their own opinion" as a substitute for critical thinking and
analysis, judgement and reason.
There`s a huge difference between the *misuse* of words (titles being words), and saying that words mean nothing.