One More Excerpt from Alan Jacobs’ Latest Book

by Jul 23, 2010Linguistics, Personal1 comment

Jonathan Swift, Jacobs says, looked for “some method . . . for ascertaining and fixing our language for ever.”

Jacobs comments:

This is a recurrent theme among linguistic academicians and their allies: a deep conviction that the dominant usage of their own time—or, more precisely, the usage into which they were educated, the usage of their youth and young adulthood—is a pure or ideal form of the language, any deviation from which marks a decline.

Language is a living entity. You can’t force it to stay the same anymore than I keep my baby from growing.

Such a comment, of course, calls for a baby picture.

DSC_6579

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1 Comment
  1. Chris H.

    Looks like he’s contemplating that quote. 🙂

    Reply

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