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View Diary: Origins of English: Some Rare Words (185 comments)

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  •  There is a lot to that line of thought (2+ / 0-)
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    Ojibwa, carver

    and an important argument in defense of "purity": My mother always lamented the idea of language as organic and that it "evolves".  The problem with that is it hinders communication through the ages when words are allowed to take on new meanings and old ones discarded. It's why we have trouble reading Shakespeare, Olde English, and why the Second Amendment is subject to debate.  
    I agree with the French approach.  Language should be held with high regard and not redefined so easily.

    There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

    by NYFM on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:17:32 PM PST

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    •  I disagree. (5+ / 0-)
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      Ojibwa, Aunt Pat, aitchdee, GeorgeXVIII, carver

      Not with the concept that there are rules, but with the idea it can't be redefined fairly easily. If there is one thing we own in our lives it is our language. It is our ability to communicate. I don't want that left to a committee. I love that English allows us to create our own ways to share.

      Sure, we have trouble reading Shakespeare, Old English and the Second Amendment. But it's a good trade, IMO, for having the ability to share thoughts and ideas in new and compelling language.

      Actually, sort of funny to bring Shakespeare in the debate on words, as so many of his that we now consider "proper" he made up. Shakespeare did not feel at all bound by rules. If you're looking for someone entirely comfortable with redefining language, Shakespeare is a clear example.

      www.stacysmusings.wordpress.com

      by Magenta on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:40:38 PM PST

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