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Today's Quasi-Inspiring Quote [Feb. 21st, 2006|09:47 am]
From the Chicago Manual of Style FAQ:

"As for [the assertion that English is] going downhill, we prefer to believe that it is constantly evolving to meet our needs. (Otherwise, we would have to be grumpy all the time.)"

[User Picture]From: wordweaverlynn
2006-02-21 05:52 pm (UTC)
Is that not wonderful? I love the online edition of Chicago.
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[User Picture]From: hetzakoatl
2006-02-21 06:04 pm (UTC)
Hahaha... :P

Seriously though, one can look at it as a decline in the English language, or an evolution of it. Either way, what's to blame for it's changes?

The internet? Or maybe the hectic pace of our lives?
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[User Picture]From: tilton
2006-02-21 07:10 pm (UTC)
Languages just change. It's a fact of life. There's nothing we can do about it.

Prescriptivist grammarians and English teachers always whine and moan that English is decaying. "Soon we'll all be speaking in grunts and whistles!," they cry.

Meanwhile, descrtiptive linguists look at them and laugh. "Silly prescriptivists!," we say, "Languages change all the time! If they didn't, we'd all still be speaking in the language of Beowulf! Language isn't a set of rules to be adhered to, it is a living thing."

As a result, some clever fellows have invented the Original English Movement, a snarky website to end this debate. We won't ever have to worry about the decline of English again, if we all agree to speak, read, and write using the English Language as it was in the year 1000! :)
The Original English Movement seeks to resolve this conflict and end this struggle by fully embracing the notion that English should not change--not now, not in the future, not even in the past.
(Quote from the Original English Movement page)
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[User Picture]From: hetzakoatl
2006-02-21 08:58 pm (UTC)
*grins* As long as people are reading and writing, it doesn't matter what language they're using really. :P
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-02-21 09:15 pm (UTC)
And as long as what they are reading and writing is fully expressive. I don't think that language evolution is a bad thing. I do think that reducing the language's set of common words (or stratification, to look at it another way) can be problematic; I'm not entirely convinced that this is really happening, though.
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[User Picture]From: witchofnovember
2006-02-21 07:18 pm (UTC)
I'm such a geek. I went to look at your link and got sucked into reading the Q and A for half an hour.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-02-21 09:12 pm (UTC)
What do you think I was doing when I found the quote? :)
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From: frampton
2006-02-21 08:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you for pointing out the online version! I have the 14th Edition, from a Christmas present about 10 years ago. It's one of my prized possessions.
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