English sturdier than you thought

March 14, 2014|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

Writing at Sentence First Stan Carey looks at some short works by Robert Burchfield the philologist/lexicographer who worked on the Oxford English Dictionary and produced an updated edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage

He concludes by quoting a short passage that you may want to post above your desk as a corrective to the ill-informed crotchets of viewers-with-alarm who imagine that this word, or that usage, or the other shift in grammar signals the decay, degeneracy, and pending demise of English: 

Prolonged study of the English language leaves me with a conviction that nearly all the linguistic tendencies of the present day have been displayed in earlier centuries, and it is self-evident that the language has not bled to death through change. Vulgarity finds its antidote; old crudities become softened with time. Distinctions, both those that are useful and those that are burdensome, flourish and die, reflourish and die again.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.