Thursday, September 28, 2006

The purity of the English Language

I just read this on politicalbetting .com, and it made me laugh. Many thanks to Andy Cooke.

As for its dominance, I ascribe it to its sheer cheek in nicking the best bits of other languages (cf the quote by James Nicoll chiding someone for attempting to defend the purity of the English language:

“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”)

Or you can read in in context with this link.


Ellee Seymour said...

I love learning about the derivation of words, I wish I had the time to learn Latin, I'm sure we would find many influences from there, as well as France, Greece, Celts, etc...

Benedict White said...

Well, yes then there are all the words from the colonies. Ketchup and pyjamas are Indian for example,