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BS:threat to English language from Americanisms

The Sandman 13 Jul 11 - 05:34 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 05:52 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 05:53 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 06:01 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 06:16 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 07:37 AM
Jim Dixon 13 Jul 11 - 07:53 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 08:00 AM
Manitas_at_home 13 Jul 11 - 08:04 AM
MartinRyan 13 Jul 11 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 08:55 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 09:03 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 09:14 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 09:19 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 09:26 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 10:07 AM
Micca 13 Jul 11 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Jul 11 - 10:22 AM
GUEST, topsie 13 Jul 11 - 11:00 AM
GUEST, topsie 13 Jul 11 - 11:03 AM
The Sandman 13 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Jul 11 - 12:53 PM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 01:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 02:05 PM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM
Jack the Sailor 13 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 02:12 PM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 02:13 PM
olddude 13 Jul 11 - 02:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 02:22 PM
Ebbie 13 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Jul 11 - 02:59 PM
TheSnail 13 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 05:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 PM
Dave the Gnome 13 Jul 11 - 06:05 PM
Songwronger 13 Jul 11 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Jul 11 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM
Genie 13 Jul 11 - 08:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Jul 11 - 10:06 PM

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Subject: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:34 AM

tonight, wed 13 july, on bbc radio four, 845 pm , a programme called four thought. the threat to the english language from americanisms.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 AM

Well, what a waste of airtime that'll be.

There is no 'threat' - only constantly evolving change. Which is why English is one of the most dynamic languages and one of the most widely spoken in distributive, if not numerical terms. English has an amazing capacity to assimilate new words in ways that would cause shock and horror to the French Académie. Much American English contains words and spellings which were originally par the course in Britain and have now fallen out of use over here. A quick read of Bill Bryson's book on the subject is instructive here.

Bungalow, pyjamas, verandah... My God, how the English language has been corrupted by those devilish Indians, eh?

Even the Normans succumbed in the end. They added many useful words to the language then gave in and spoke English. That English changed - as ours will.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:50 AM

I wonder why 'threat'? Our language has been continually changing over the centuries, we no longer speak Shakespearian English after all. All languages evolve, responding to the need to express new ideas and describe new experiences. I used to be a terrible purist, growling whenever I heard a cringe-making innovation, but over the years I've come to enjoy these things. As an elderly lady, I've at last realised that 'Nothing stays the same', and that's as it should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:52 AM

Will Fly, we posted simultaneously, and I see you agree with me!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:53 AM

I say, Eliza old gal, such jolly ripping sentiments, what what? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:59 AM

Now, that's quite enough from you two. People will begin to talk!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:59 AM

Not half, old bean! (We seem to have been transported into a PG Wodehouse novel!)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 06:01 AM

If so, bags I the part of Honoria Glossop!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 06:16 AM

I want to be The Empress of Blandings...


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:37 AM

I shall take Lord Emsworth...


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:53 AM

Brits often overlook the fact that in some cases it is the British version of English that has changed while Americans have retained the old forms: "gotten" for example.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:00 AM

Exactly my point, Jim. There are some fascinating examples in Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language".


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:04 AM

"Gotten" hasn't died out in the UK. I still use it occasionally.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:10 AM

Warning: Thread drift!


Met a musician friend of mine today, emerging from a shop selling secondhand books. He passed one to me - Music and its story by Percy M. Young. It's (sic) a library copy and the library card from the local library has the title as Music & it's Story! Dates from 1970 or so.

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:55 AM

Not being rude, Will Fly, but...er.... wasn't the Empress of Blandings a pig??


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:03 AM

Yup - and she had a great life!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:14 AM

... and she belonged to Lord Emsworth ~~ Me! So you are my pride & joy, Will. Now let us see you win me all those prizes!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:19 AM

"Grunt! Grunt! Snuffle!"

[Which is pig talk for "Are you blind? Haven't you seen all those rosettes decorating the sty?]

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:26 AM

Yes, but, dash it, McAllister the Scotch gardener says they distract from his beds, and he'll give notice if they aren't taken away. So try harder and get some silver cups for Beach the Butler to polish in the third drawing room.

Emsworth


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:34 AM

In all the sties in all the castles in the world, you have to come to this one... sigh...


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 10:07 AM

On reflection, I might prefer to be Pongo or Stilton (a drone's life for me!)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Micca
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 10:08 AM

" English doesnt Steal from other languages, it takes them into dark alleys and mugs them"


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 10:22 AM

How nice to hear from other Wodehouse fans. I thought I was alone in the world.

So often when people talk about language (as on this radio program) they are talking about single words. But Wodehouse was the master of the English sentence. Some of his sentences are complex sculptures, with clauses artfully linked in ways most of us have forgotten.

I believe my favorite Wodehouse story is the one about the administrative assistant in Hollywood and the gorilla that spoke the King's English.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 11:00 AM

'mugs them' Paul? - mates with them more like.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 11:03 AM

Sorry Micca - I got the posts and posters muddled.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM

Will Fly you are pre judging, Just because you dont like the terminology or the way they choose to present it, that is not a reason for not listening, it is ridiculous not to listen to the programme and to dismiss as a waste of time before you have listened, you remind me of that buffoon, Jack Campin
as a matter of fact I agree with you, so I will be interested in the arguments they are putting forward


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 12:53 PM

I'd like to hear that but will be folking


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 01:57 PM

Oh, Dick - I'm a allowed a little prejudgement occasionally - it's so boring being balanced and fair, even-handed, unprejudiced and equitable all the time.

Actually, I can't hear it as I'm otherwise engaged. I suppose, if pressed, I object to the emotive word "threat" in the title. And, if you care to do a little research,as I've done, you can see the substance and the driving force of Matthew Engel's talk (the subject of the programme) here.

I've read this and disagree profoundly with it, not because what he writes is nonsense, but because he's flogging a dead horse. Language changes. Period. (How's that last sentence for an Americanism, huh?).

Now Dick, you contumacious person, you - there's absolutely no need to insult a fellow 'Catter (Jack Campin) on this thread because of a dispute on another thread. No need for the word buffoon. If I were to follow your example, for example, I could pass a very negative opinion of your blues singing. But I haven't - neither there nor here.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:05 PM

The language spoken in the United States is the major branch of the English language, hence cannot be seen as a threat to the language.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM

Exactly, Q - though hide-bound people in the Uk might see it as a threat to their version of the language...

Interestingly, Matthew Engel, the talk-giver on the programme, is American.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM

Aren't the most English speakers in China?


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:12 PM

Yes, they are, Jack - hence my phrase: "one of the most widely spoken in distributive, if not numerical terms". In head counts, Chinese wins every time; in geographical distribution and influence, English wins.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:13 PM

Sorry, missed out a "but" before "In head counts..."


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: olddude
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:17 PM

You All, English, Ain't no problem, yessiree it ain't ..
we all jaw away just fine us yanks do ... LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:18 PM

True, innit?


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:22 PM

My young niece, on a gap holiday, sent a text to her mum:- "Cambodia innit".


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM

You All, English, Ain't no problem, yessiree it ain't ..
we all jaw away just fine us yanks do ... LOL

You betcha!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM

Australian, New Zealand and Canadian contributions to the language have gained inclusion in the OED in the last 30 years or so. I expect more additions from the Asian continent, particularly India, in the next few years.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:59 PM

Will Fly you are pre judging, Just because you dont like the terminology or the way they choose to present it, that is not a reason for not listening, it is ridiculous not to listen to the programme and to dismiss as a waste of time before you have listened, you remind me of that buffoon, Jack Campin
as a matter of fact I agree with you, so I will be interested in the arguments they are putting forward


Well, here we have a short post which is missing five punctuation marks, which contains three which are misused, which omits one essential capital letter yet inserts one where it isn't needed and which contains one sentence which really ought to be four. And that's before any consideration of the thread title is taken into account. Not to speak of that gratuitous insult, of course. I think I know where the real threat to the English language is coming from.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM

Good Soldier Schweik

"Will Fly you are pre judging... ...you remind me of that buffoon, Jack Campin"

Having encountered Mr Campin for some considerable time over the internet and having known Mr Fly personally for several years, the resemblance escapes me.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:23 PM

I must admit that there are many program(me)s to which I will never listen. Prejudgement often rests on past judgement.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 PM

Careen. Add: 4 b. to lean over, to tilt.
1883 G. Meredith (Eng. poet), Now his huge bulk o'er Africa careened.
1895, Conrad, The big office desk, with one of its legs broken, careened over like the hull of a stranded ship.
1920, C. H. Stagg, A hundred times their throats choked as the car careened on a bank.
1938, British Birds XXXI, The bird was careening from side to side as though there were waves.

These added to Oxford English Dictionary in 1987, Supplement.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 06:05 PM

Ast any on yer geeten a record thingy of yon wirelss prog? I were powfagged n missed it.

No threat from yon daft cloutyeds o'er watter if you ask me though.

:D tG


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Songwronger
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:08 PM

Seems even Shakespeare corrupted the language.

Words Shakespeare Invented

In all of his work - the plays, the sonnets and the narrative poems - Shakespeare uses 17,677 words: Of those, 1,700 were first used by Shakespeare.

This list of words that we use in our daily speech were all brought into usage by Shakespeare:

•accommodation
•aerial
•amazement
•apostrophe
•assassination
•auspicious
•baseless
•bloody
•bump
•castigate
•changeful
•clangor
•control (noun)
•countless
•courtship
•critic
•critical
•dexterously
•dishearten
•dislocate
•dwindle
•eventful
•exposure
•fitful
•frugal
•generous
•gloomy
•gnarled
•hurry
•impartial
•inauspicious
•indistinguishable
•invulnerable
•lapse
•laughable
•lonely
•majestic
•misplaced
•monumental
•multitudinous
•obscene
•palmy
•perusal
•pious
•premeditated
•radiance
•reliance
•road
•sanctimonious
•seamy
•sportive
•submerge
•suspicious


That wack dude had some 'nads to tweak the lingo like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM

For fifteen hundred years the English language had shown itself to be impervious to threats.

The Beowulf poet spoke Old English. Chaucer spoke Middle English. Shakespeare spoke Early Modern English. Tennyson and Wolfe and Woolf spoke Later Modern English.

Even if you make the unwarranted assumption that the quality of English-language literature has declined since Beowulf or Shakespeare or Virginia Woolf, that would be a defect of individual talent, not of the English language.

English would be truly threatened only if people no longer find it advantageous to use it. That's what happened, for example, to Cornish and Manx and any number of Third-World languages.

We may be irritated - justifiably - by sloppy and ignorant and intenionally deceptive usages, but if they don't sink out of sight on their own (as some do), they become fully assimilated and less noticeable to later generations - who then rail about their own pet peeves.

My prophecy: despite everything, some enduring masterpieces will be written in English in the 21st Century. And the 22nd...

They may not be to our taste, but Hardy, Hemingway, and Heller would not have been to Samuel Johnson's taste either.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:33 PM

As long as it doesn't turn out to be JK bloody Rowling.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM

Now that *would* be annoying.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Genie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:06 PM

I don't think the introduction of new words into the language is a negative thing, especially when the new words apply to new technology, etc., or even when they start out as slang (e.g. "ginormous"). But when "the dictionary" (probably Merriam-Webster for the US) immediately accepts a mangling of the English language by Sarah Palin -- "refudiate" -- as a new word, I think that's outrageous, especially since this new "word" doesn't add anything to the lexicon beyond what "refute" and "repudiate" already mean. (This isn't like "telecom" being short for "telephone communication" or "blog" being short for the new word "weblog" or "Frankenfood" being coined as a term for genetically modified vegetables.)


I think the other thing that's fast threatening to destroy our language, at least where spelling and grammar and punctuation are concerned, is the rapidity of communication, especially on the internet, with people being exposed virtually overnight to all sorts of mispronunciation, misspelling, bad or absent punctuation, and horrible grammar. Texting and "tweeting" contribute a lot to this. So we end up with 'sentences' like:

"u need 2 loose sum wait so him and me will go on a diat for awhile cuz its the best way for you and I to doo it."

What's appalling to me is how quickly news anchors and other people with big TV and radio microphones pick up the bad grammar, etc., when they hear or see it in some informal setting.      I even hear a lot of this from English teachers sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:03 PM

The Oxford University Press blog says 'refudiate' is a verb "used loosely to mean 'reject'."
The New Oxford American Dictionary has named it the 2010 'Word of the Year'. The link below is to an article listing the top ten words of 2010.
There are no plans, however, to add it to the OED, Webster's or NOAD, or any standard dictionary. The Oxford University Press (OUP)says it must first become popular enough (unfriend, woty of 2009 has become popular enough and will be added to the OED).

OUPBlog-
http://blog.oup.com/2010/11/refudiate

OUP says Palin is not the first to use it, but don't say who that was.
(double-dip will certainly be added.)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 10:06 PM

As I said on the "sloppy usage" thread, history proves that English grammar, pronunciation, spelling, punctuation, and diction has always been awful - by any standard.

If most of us don't think so, however, it's because 99.9999% of actual utterances by actual people was never preserved.

And 95% (say) of what's ever been published is the well-edited work of unusually talented writers - even including tabloid journalists.

The average user of English anywhere on earth would be unable to write a publishable tabloid article without more training in every aspect of writing than he or she would likely get in a first-year university composition course, plus much dedicated practice and revision and a decent editor.

"Good English" is prized partly because it's always been so very rare. And "great literature" is a different and far smaller category entirely.


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