Posted by Lotg on January 07, 2004
In Reply to: English as she is spoke (and writ) posted by ESC on January 06, 2004
: : : The following was posted on my school message board - we were having a discussion about 'English as she is spoke'! I thought I should share the offering.
: : : THE NINE ARTICLES OF SPEECH
: : : A POEM FOR CHILDREN: WRITTEN BY JOHN NEALE IN 1886
: : : Three little words we often see,
: : : An ARTICLE a, an and the.
: : : NOUN's the name of anything,
: : : As school or garden, hoop or string.
: : : ADJECTIVES tell the kind of noun,
: : : As great, small, pretty, white or brown.
: : : Instead of nouns the PRONOUNS stand,
: : : John's head, his face, my arm, your hand.
: : : VERBS tell of something being done,
: : : To read, write, count, sing, jump or run.
: : : How things are done, the ADVERBS tell,
: : : As slowly, quickly, ill or well.
: : : A PREPOSITION stands before
: : : A noun, as in or through a door.
: : : CONJUNCTIONS join the nouns together,
: : : As men and children, wind and weather.
: : : The INTERJECTION shows surprise,
: : : As Oh, how pretty! Ah how wise!
: : : The whole are called 'nine parts of speech',
: : : Which reading, writing, speaking, teach.
: : ::::: We have inherited a wonderfully elegant tool in this language. In a recent communication to a member of the PF, we compared the 'open system' that is English to the other European languages which have different structures. This language invites new concepts, new uses for words and is a language that supports and promotes invention and progres.
: : As those who guard other languages attempt to keep their language 'pure' they fall behind in technology and the ability to progres intellectually and give names to the thoughts it takes to expand imagination and consciousness.
: : English is difficult because of this very openness and the wide ranging nature of its scope. Phrases are shorthand for all of us, and how very effective --- if maddening to non native speakers.
: Some examples of fine writing skills that I came across today:
: From the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader in print and online, January 6, 2004:
: "The biggest chunk of the so-called 'restricted' funds tapped yesterday, $31.5 million, came from 35 accounts in the restructured Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. That cabinet OVERSEAS the insurance department, many boards and commissions, natural resources and surface mining."
: And from an online story about a singer's 55-hour marriage:
: "Alexander said he and Spears hatched the idea to get hitched early Saturday morning. 'We was just chillin' at the room, and we was in Las Vegas, and we were sitting in the room, and we were like, 'Let's go do something. You know, let's go get married,' Alexander told 'Inside Edition' in an interview."
He he, yes. Well Ward, as we've discussed before, it does appear that English allows for considerably more flexibility than other languages, however, I'm in two minds about this.
... Two minds? How does one find oneself in two minds?
Back to the point. I do agree that it can be wonderful to evolve, and being an Aussie, I certainly wouldn't be one for sticking rigidly to rules. However there can be something said for purism (is that a word?). Some of the more elegant aspects of our language have suffered considerably over time, and I do think that's a shame - ref: ESC's example. And I do for example, find certain aspects of the French and Italian languages very charming indeed. In many respects I think English has lost a considerable amount of it's romance.
So being the quintessential Libran (ah yes, that explains the two minds), I'm afraid I can see points for and against English's evolutionary tendencies.