Topic RSS | Reply to topic
Author Post

silves89


Member

Posted Thu Jan 8th, 2009 10:39am Post subject: Passion for language
I know people who are ashamed of their English and this makes me angry. As Stephen said everyone should embrace and enjoy their language, as a birthright. But if we're following our noses on this as he recommends, it is obvious that we will find some language ugly or clumsy or ineffective, like CCTV. That's how I find "action", "tasked with", the tautological "forward planning" and other clunky business-ey terms. They represent something I dislike and I think that's okay.

Being free with our love of language, in a whimsical human way, means we should be free with our taste for its usage. Does it matter if this taste is a bit resistive to change? Do we have to be positive about everything all the time?

Back to top

PamJH


Member

Posted Thu Jan 8th, 2009 11:43pm Post subject: Passion for language


Being free with our love of language, in a whimsical human way, means we should be free with our taste for its usage. Does it matter if this taste is a bit resistive to change? Do we have to be positive about everything all the time?


No we don't have to be positive about everything all the time. I think there's something to be said for having language, spelling and usage standards. While we have to acknowledge that language should and does evolve, we don't have to tear it to pieces just to suit our individual tastes.

Like you, I don't like trendy terms such as "grow the business," "action plan" and "end result." They're redundant and irritating. And while I can certainly forgive some typos (I commit this sin myself), it's hard to read letters and posts that are rife with them.

But I also don't believe in going around complaining about people's store signs or correcting people's grammar (except for my sister's and she doesn't mind). They didn't ask for my advice. But I do wish people would take more care with their writing and speaking. Languages are precious and should be treated with respect.

Off soapbox. Good post.

Back to top

charliemic


Member

Posted Wed Jan 14th, 2009 6:49pm Post subject: Passion for language
Ah, but to quote Higgins (this time from the musical version My Fair Lady, rather than, as Stephen quotes, Pygmalion), 'the noblest sentiments that ever flowed from the hearts of men are contained in its {the English language's} ... musical mixtures of sounds.'

What you do with it is periphery, in that you can look like an angel and murder like an inhuman wretch. Looks, speech and other such things are totally aesthetic.

However, you can use speech; text; language, in order to convey feeling, and such, in poetry. Being an A level English student, I'd have to say some of the books we come across are written in wonderful writing, with nuances and quirks that make you smile, and form fantastic shapes in your mouth. It is a pleasure to read them, because, plot excluded, the language is wonderful.

Others use 'contemporary' (and here I steal Stephen's way of thinking - I'm not anti-contemporary) writing styles, and you have to sit down, prepare yourself, and then really think to get into it. The wonder of the language is that it flows.

Also, with it comes a sense of identity. I talk in what one might call and antiquated way, with my syntax and word choice. Being only 16, this arouses some rather choice comments from my contemporaries, and do give rise to the opinion I am a snob.
But it gives you an identity.
To go back to the Bible: Jacob wrestles with an angel, having done some grievous sin. Neither can defeat the other, but when the angel asks: 'what is your name?', Jacob debates telling him, but then throws his sin behind him, and says: 'yes, I am Jacob'
His admittance to having that name is owning up to who he is.
Similarly, language does this.
In the Podcast, Stephen says it shows your past (as an individual, and a nation), and also your likes, your influences, and your inclinations, and I'd have to agree.

And to finish, thank you Stephen, for summing up my beliefs in your whimsical and extraordinary way.

Back to top

joan


Member

Posted Wed Jan 14th, 2009 11:09pm Post subject: Passion for language
I agree that we should use our beautiful language properly. We should also enjoy all our different dialects. Our language has the benefit of two distinct roots - romance and germanic - which enables us to express subtleties not available in some other languages.

Because we have such a rich vocabulary, it is horrible to hear the repetitive, cliche-ridden, drivel that seems so prevalent today.

Back to top