My goodness! People seem to get so lathered about the yin and yang of things. Are folks actually saying there is such a thing as pure English? When was this extraordinary artifact in use? Gaelic is interesting, but it isn't English, is it? I don't know of any Pictish residue in English, though there may be some. Norse, yes, a dash of early latin, and germanic elements. Shake them all up, and you still don't have english. Maybe by the 8th or 9th century, somerthing like English. Is that where folks want to return to for the sake of purity?
By the time the Normans came over, dragging some latin (but there was church Latin in England already), some sort of french, and varieties of norse (the normans were certainly in part descended from norse raiders) French gaelic things were already a pretty mish-mash over here.
Dialects spoken in various parts of the country were not understandable as "english" at all in other parts of the country. By the time of Chaucer, Middle English was only one of several dialects that were not mutually understandable floating around the country. This is not the English you were thinking of returning to, was it? That would be as bad as babel.
By the time that Shakespeare came along, you know, people thought that Chaucer was great, but they'd lost the art of reading him. The Elizabethans gobbled up great chanks of foreign language and coined a lot of their own. Shakespeare was apparently responsible for coining a fairly large proportion of the English language; wantonly,
recklessly and irresponsibly simply creating it on his own.
Think of the terrible damage that one man alone did to the purity of ther sacred language.
Let alone the who issue of English grammar! Why, before the middle of the 18th century it was perfectly Okay to split infinitives and to end sentences in prepositions! The horror! The Horror! Then (and I do so wish I could remember the man's name; he deserves to be as widely reviled as possible) decided that English grammar sould be based on Latin Grammar, though the two langauges have few similarities. He bamboozled 200 years of English teachers!
Have I mentioned linguistic drift? No? Well, just because there is a word, say "enthusiasm," that's firmly and usefully thumbtacked into the language in the 18th century, and it stays there, doesn't mean that it says the same thing now. Today, your average "enthusiast" is a weekend mechanic, or goes hiking with friends for two weeks in the summer. When Dr. Johnson's friend Christopher Smart was an "enthusiast," he was a religious fanatic whose behavior got him repeated confined in lunatic asylums. And the era was remarkably accepting of fervor. Other words have simply dropped out of the language. Some for excellent reason. Try checking out the word "lanting," for example; it had to do with the manufacture of beer. Yuch!
French is the language you want, if you want purity. It has an academy of intellectuals to keep French the way it was in the 18th century. It fights a constant furious battle to exclude anglicisms from the language. When Montreal picked up a baseball team, they weren't allowed to have a pitcher; they had to have "le lanceur." My spelling is probably off, Etcetera. I don't know what they've used to replace the ubiquitous "le weekend," but it seems sort of silly to me.
I don't think anything like pure English can be defined at this point, not through grammar, not through vocabulary. Where are the ideas and concepts that you'd feel better without? The word "shampoo," I'd like to remind you, is Hindi. Yours happily, BobK.