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Passions in Poetry

A Linguistic Question

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rwood
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since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


50 posted 06-23-2007 06:04 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I'm smiling because I have another to learn from.

that's both amusing and serious.

"tippler" great word, lots to play with.
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


51 posted 06-23-2007 12:59 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant


Incidentally, I know you mentioned Germanic tribes as being a source of our English. There were so many of them, but I believe they evolved from the Celts, so the term Germanic, is not an original term, but a derived one from the Celtic language, I think. I'm just recalling some history classes here and that's been a while, but you may want to check that out."


Not sure where they came up with that.  From what I understand both the Germanic and the Celtic people are derived from the Indo-European, but the Germanic aren't derived from the Celtic, nor the Celtic from the Germanic.  



Impressive site!

What about "nigh". I see you listed "nigh + bour= neighbor, but just "nigh". I've seen people use this word often in modern poetry, but I feel they misuse it to mean No instead of close or approaching.



Thanks Reg.  
I agree with you about the word nigh.  I will add that to the Wordbook as soon as possible.

Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


52 posted 10-05-2007 08:13 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I decided to downgrade the Ednew English site back to the "free" status.   Here is the new address: http://www.geocities.com/ednewenglish

There is not that much of a difference.  But now I don't pay about ten $'s a month, and the site may still live on even if I could not.

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


53 posted 12-01-2007 01:27 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

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.
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


54 posted 12-03-2007 10:50 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Bob


Are folks actually saying there is such a thing as pure English?


I am not saying it is "pure".  But I am saying that there is an English language as distinct from other languages, and that we should retain English words as much as we may at the same time as having so many foreign words.

I don't think the current state of the language is going to be interrupted much, let alone overthrown, by trying to restore some words that are actually from that Germanic dialect known as English, instead of from Greek, Latin, Chinese, etc.


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.
  

Not sure what your basis is here.  If Middle English were as bad as you seem to suggest, why did it come to prevail above the other languages being used as well, French and Latin, and eventually into the language that is now used the most in the world?        


Why, before the middle of the 18th century it was perfectly Okay to split infinitives...!


There is no split infinitive in any Old English text and there is only a rare few in Middle English.  If Wikipedia is correct there is only one split infinitive found among all of Shakespeare's work.   Not something that suggests that it was "perfectly okay".        

[This message has been edited by Essorant (12-03-2007 11:42 PM).]

 
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