The purity of the English language

by Suw on January 3, 2005

“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.”
– James D. Nicoll
“English is the result of Norman men-at-arms attempting to pick up Saxon barmaids and is no more legitimate than any of the other results.”
– H. Beam Piper
(Thanks Kate!)

Anonymous January 6, 2005 at 6:10 pm

There is no pure language. The quotes are funny but not to be taken seriously.
The only pure languages are artificial coding languages I think, and look how enthralling they can be. People always nag about languages growing increasingly impure, but it's a fact that change is what defines language, it is what language is. Language is a creative process. Even the artificial languages are. In other words, even pure language are subject to change.
I'm not saying this to Suw :^P I know you know. I'm telling this to the passer-by who doesn't know.

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