Purify English / Old English revival

Pedro y La Torre

Senior Member
English (Ireland)
In many cultures, among them the English speaking area, people reject the idea that any kind of government agency, however democratically legitimated, should have the power to regulate language.

This is very closely related to the concept of freedom of speech which includes the right to use language in a deviant way.
This may be over-exaggerated. If a native British English speaker were to start using Americanisms like "stroller" or "diaper" in the UK, the reaction would be biting. Indeed, one often hears laments about how English is now becoming progressively "Americanized". I have even come across certain ignoramuses in Ireland who decry "gotten" as an Americanism, when of course it's not, it having been used in Irish English since the language was first brought to the country.

I see no problem with having a regulatory body for English (we accept them for Irish, Welsh and Scots Gaelic after all), though for most people, the OED already fills that role. I actually think it might be quite a good idea as the standard of English as spoken by the average citizen in large parts of both Britain and Ireland remains quite poor.
 
  • berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    This may be over-exaggerated. If a native British English speaker were to start using Americanisms like "stroller" or "diaper" in the UK, the reaction would be biting. Indeed, one often hears laments about how English is now becoming progressively "Americanized". I have even come across certain ignoramuses in Ireland who decry "gotten" as an Americanism, when of course it's not, it having been used in Irish English since the language was first brought to the country.
    Well, this belongs together, doesn't it? As much as you have the right to use language as you want (limited maybe by rules of decency) you have the right to criticize certain uses of language.

    we accept them for Irish, Welsh and Scots Gaelic after all
    The situation is a bit different here. The creation of common standards for these language are emergency measures to prevent their extinction.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    ...The situation is a bit different here. The creation of common standards for these language are emergency measures to prevent their extinction.
    Hi,
    A little like the OQLF does for Qubécois.
    Here in France la vieille dame du quai Conti (aka l'Académie française) often pronounces on matters of the proper usage of French. However (it seems to me) many of the words imposed on the population never gain popularity and so "disappear" from everyday usage.
     

    Peano

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Catalan
    In many cultures, among them the English speaking area, people reject the idea that any kind of government agency, however democratically legitimated, should have the power to regulate language.
    It seems we are dealing with culture. Languages are complex tools that all human communities are using constantly in life. These tools may be managed by public authorities or rather private ones, depending on the political background of each country.
    Well, I think this question is not unrelated with our thread. I guess the English-speaking communities are happy with English playing the role of the new Lingua Franca of the world. Having this into account, the high presence of Greco-Latin-Romance words inside the English lexicon would be not a problem but rather an advantage to keep, because such an hybrid (and declension-free) language is in a sense like a true Lingua Franca. So, at present there might be no political will in favour of a purified English.
     
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    erased

    New Member
    English
    Hybrid? From the vocabulary point of view,all languages are somehow "hybrid",a vocabulary reflects the various cultural influences during the history. But as I already wrote ,what identify a language is the grammar not the vocabulary. "...This phenomenon is characteristic of our epoch. But, to my thesis, we have the dynamism to program therapeutic practices as a prophylaxis from chaos and catastrophe..." This sentence uses "only Greek words". Please , could you say me if a greek speaker use this grammar in Greek?
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    By "official" I mean: "authorised by a public organisation", that is an organisation democratically constituted, like the Real Academia de la Lengua Española, or the Institut d'Estudis Catalans. I feel that a dictionary edited by such public institutions will be a more trustworthy reference than anyone of several dictionaries edited by several publishing houses.
    Anyway, if you give me good arguments in favour of the OED, or any other, I might do an exception.
    I can't help pointing out that, while they are undoubtedly official, there is hardly anything democratic about the setup of institutions like the Real Academia de la Lengua Española and the Institut d'Estudis Catalans... or about the folks behind the OED, for that matter.
     

    Peano

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Catalan
    Hybrid? From the vocabulary point of view,all languages are somehow "hybrid",a vocabulary reflects the various cultural influences during the history.
    Surely there may be several languages with an hybrid vocabulary (that is, "made by combining two different things", Oxford MiniDict.). Anyway, the English vocabulary is especially hybrid, since the Germanic part is about 40% of it, while the Italic-Hellenic part is about 50% of it ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_vocabulary#Word_origins ).
     
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    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Hi,
    A little like the OQLF does for Qubécois.
    Here in France la vieille dame du quai Conti (aka l'Académie française) often pronounces on matters of the proper usage of French. However (it seems to me) many of the words imposed on the population never gain popularity and so "disappear" from everyday usage.
    Probably because unlike the OQLF, the académie is mostly made up of a bunch of aged gombeen men. :D
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    We should change the word "question" to "askthing" to get rid of that annoying Latinate word.
    No need to make a new word, there is one from OE that made it to ME: frain It is both a noun and a verb.

    The frain is where there is another word for frain? If you don't like frain then you can go back to OE for askung (ascung) ... Maybe asking nowadays.

    BTW, ask is also a noun that means "request".
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The frain is where there is another word for frain? If you don't like frain then you can go back to OE for askung (ascung) ... Maybe asking nowadays.
    Wouldn't it have been aksung/acsung?
    The ks was shifted to sk after OE, right?

    Actually, on later research, it appears that they were both possibilities and alternate spellings, not a switch from one to the other.
    Ignore what I said :D
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    This may be over-exaggerated. If a native British English speaker were to start using Americanisms like "stroller" or "diaper" in the UK, the reaction would be biting. Indeed, one often hears laments about how English is now becoming progressively "Americanized". I have even come across certain ignoramuses in Ireland who decry "gotten" as an Americanism, when of course it's not, it having been used in Irish English since the language was first brought to the country.

    I see no problem with having a regulatory body for English (we accept them for Irish, Welsh and Scots Gaelic after all), though for most people, the OED already fills that role. I actually think it might be quite a good idea as the standard of English as spoken by the average citizen in large parts of both Britain and Ireland remains quite poor.
    .. and would your regulatory body allow the tautology of over-exaggerate? Unfortunately strollers are already in evidence in Britain. However "gotten" is an Americanism in England; there are several examples of words that travelled with the Pilgrim fathers and then vanished over here only to return via Hollywood.

    The strength of English is its adaptability: Let's not put it in a cage. Let's educate people to understand grammar and then let them loose.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    Any suggestion for the word "purify"? ;-)
    And revival for that matter?
    And suggestion, obviously?
    purify - clean, cleanse, filter (early 15c., from O.Fr. filtre and directly from M.L. filtrum "felt," which was used to strain impurities from liquid, from W.Gmc. *filtiz (see felt). Filter when from German to Latin to French to English.

    revivial - comeback, requickening ... if you don't like the re- prefix then use the OE prefix - a- for aquickening (OE acwician: acwicende)

    suggestion - a tuff one; the verb suggest is easy ... put forth, lay forth which would put forth forelay or foreput ... layout and outlay are alreddy taken ...OE has a matching meaning for the original meaning of suggestion: "a prompting to evil" and that is mislar (Incitement to evil, suggestion, bad teaching). Gespan - prompting; tyhting looks like the best choice.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    And there is sickroom: noun, a room in a school or place of work occupied by or set apart for people who are unwell.• a room occupied by an ill person.

    sick call
    sick leave

    So a sickhouse would be good.
     

    Vós

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    The France and Britain were historic enemies then one needed to learn the other lagangue one.

    Oh sorry for my english, I probably builded bad the phrase.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    Moderator note:
    This is more or less the same question asked again. I therefore merged the two threads.
    Berndf


    I am doing a linguistic study on the evolution of English. Old English was merely a dialect of west germanic language brought to England by Saxons, Angles and Jutes and has undergone a lot of changes, especially influences from Latin and French on English vocabulary (fortunately there has been nearly no influence on English grammar and phonetic system). However, due to its mixed vocabulary (ONLY 25% of modern English vocabulary is native anglo-saxon words, while Latin and French loan words make up around 60% to 66%, source from Wikipedia). The result is that in Modern English there exists often two words for the same thing, one of Anglo-Saxon origin and the other of Romance origine.
    So I am wondering whether it is possible to revital the Old English, at least its vocabulary/wordstock (if I can say that) and to coin words from the Old English word stems to get rid of French and Latin influence. Icelandic language is a perfect example in that Icelanders always use words of Scandinavian origin to replace loan words from Danish, Low German and Latin. Moreover, I wish to know what native English speakers, especially Brittons think of the fact that there language is full of French and Latin words? French people are proud of the French language, although I think it rather ridiculous that French people or more precisely the Gaullish people had abandoned their authentic native language the Gaullish to adopt Latin and try to protect their language from influence from English.
    Can it be done? Yes. ... Likely? No.

    If your goal is to be rid of the French/Latinate words that came AFTER 1066 (not many came before but some did) and you let yourself brook (use) any word that is built from a Germanic root, then your job becomes eaðra (OE for easier). Don't forget that there are many French words that have a Germanic root ... like 'touch' ... and even some Latin words have Germanic roots.

    Do you keep the Greek-built words? I do but that is just me. However, many Latinates have Greek roots! I just posted a blog yesterday, Anglo-Saxon Names for the Modern Military, after mulling over words to brook instead of military, army, navy, marine, and air force.

    As an eard-(OE for native)-English speaker, I find most Latinates to be snooty. However, I do find some to be fornytlic (OE for very useful).

    I'll leave you with this:
    Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon numbers. -George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language" (1946)
     

    jimreilly

    Senior Member
    American English
    LoboSolo answers: Can it be done? Yes. ... Likely? No.

    And I think LoboSolo is quite correct. Try to imagine what would be necessary for such a thing to happen, for "cleansed" English to triumph, let's say in England. Some kind of great renewal of anti-French sentiment? Some kind of ur-Anglo demagogic leader? How would the mass of people wedded to their tellies get the word(s)? Would everyone have to go back to school? Or would it happen via television (oh, sorry for the via). Would just the younger people be indoctrinated, and the new cleansed English triumph only when the oldsters die off? And even if it happened in England how many other places would be left untouched? Could it happen in the USA? You gotta be kidding! Canada? New Zealand? And then there are all those people the world over who have zealously studied English, Latinate words and all. Who's going to re-educate them? It might all make a good movie, sort of a cross between science fiction and a Utopian novel.

    Meanwhile, in some humble home on a Navajo reservation one person will preserve English as it was spoken circa (oops) 2011, that person having forgotten how to speak Navajo.
     

    ericmonteux

    Member
    french
    I will be very direct : that was one of the project of ADOLPHE HITLER and the dream of all nationalist extremist ! You begin to purify the words and atfter ......That's scare me very much this idea
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I will be very direct : that was one of the project of ADOLPHE HITLER...
    You'd be surprised. At the time there was a an organization which tried to "purify" the German language in such a way. It was the Allgemeiner Deutscher Sprachverein. When Hitler (his first name was actually Adolph, not Adolphe) came to power, they though he would be their ally but to everybody's surprise, Hitler took a very different stance:
    Der Führer wünscht nicht derartige gewaltsame Eindeutschungen und billigt nicht die künstliche Ersetzung längst ins Deutsche eingebürgerter Fremdworte durch nicht aus dem Geist der deutschen Sprache und den Sinn der Fremdworte meist nur unvollkommen wiedergebende Wörter. - Amtsblatt 6 (1940), S. 534.

    The Führer [Hitler] does not want such forcible Germanizations and does not approve of artificially replacing foreign words, which have long been vernacularized, by words which did not [arise from] the spirit of the German language and which reflect the senses of the foreign words only incompletely.
     

    koniecswiata

    Senior Member
    Am English
    However, Hitler--or better said--the Nazis, did implement an agressive germanization program of names of towns and villages--especially in regions such as East Prussia or parts of Silesia. It was part of a scheme to make town names look more "German" (as they understood it). So, a name like "Czilln" --which was what it had been refered to in German for centuries--became something bland like "Schönhausen" (I don't know if Czilln acutally changed to that, but it was changed). The regional character of certain regions was errased. If the Nazis had been truly consistent they would have changed the originally Slavic names of Berlin, Lübeck, and Leipzig to things like "Frankenstein" or "Hohenlinden" or "Sachsenstedt"--or any other vaguely imagined to be more German name. I suppose the point is that modern languages do NOT equally an imagined past version.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    You'd be surprised. At the time there was a an organization which tried to "purify" the German language in such a way. It was the Allgemeiner Deutscher Sprachverein. When Hitler (his first name was actually Adolph, not Adolphe) came to power, they though he would be their ally but to everybody's surprise, Hitler took a very different stance:
    Der Führer wünscht nicht derartige gewaltsame Eindeutschungen und billigt nicht die künstliche Ersetzung längst ins Deutsche eingebürgerter Fremdworte durch nicht aus dem Geist der deutschen Sprache und den Sinn der Fremdworte meist nur unvollkommen wiedergebende Wörter. - Amtsblatt 6 (1940), S. 534.

    The Führer [Hitler] does not want such forcible Germanizations and does not approve of artificially replacing foreign words, which have long been vernacularized, by words which did not [arise from] the spirit of the German language and which reflect the senses of the foreign words only incompletely.
    Hi Berndf. I'm sorry. My level of German is limited so I can't come up with precise examples. I remember an Austrian professor telling me once that even in the time of Kaiser Wilhem there was a germanization campaign going on. It was in the context of railway vocabulary. Fahrkarte not billet, or zug not train. Am I right there? That would mean it's a movement not necessary something dating from the Third Reicht.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Of course some languages have more words than other languages, which does not make them better. It is a fact. The difference in word count could be quite amazing.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    What is your theory on the Slavic origin of such names and Berlin, Lubeck etc.? I am just interested.
    Related to post 121.
     
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    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Of course some languages have more words than other languages, which does not make them better. It is a fact. The difference in word count could be quite amazing.
    But it is quite hard to count the words, since some words get to be counted while some do not, and in languages which tend to have a descriptive policy(such as English) rather than a normative one would also count in more words used in daily life, informal speech, slang, dialect etc. than other languages would do. I know many Korean words that one would never find in any dictionary.
    And the definition of "word" can become ambiguous. In Chinese or Japanese, you can practically "make up" new terms and it's often difficult to tell if these are actually lexicalized words or not.
     
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    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Hi Berndf. I'm sorry. My level of German is limited so I can't come up with precise examples. I remember an Austrian professor telling me once that even in the time of Kaiser Wilhem there was a germanization campaign going on. It was in the context of railway vocabulary. Fahrkarte not billet, or zug not train. Am I right there? That would mean it's a movement not necessary something dating from the Third Reicht.
    Yes, you are absolutely right. The , so called Germanization of Silesia, is a much more complex problem than that. Silesia belonged to Poland in the 12th century, if I am not wrong. Since then it was going from one power to another, with periods of autonomic Silesian states. It is also questionable, whether Silesian is really Polish. It is a Slavic language, that's for sure, but...
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    I do not know that much about Asian languages, however, I know that there is a difference in the number of signs necessary to read and write in such languages as Chinese and Korean. The difference is apparently quite big. There is something like simplified Chinese which uses fewer signs, but I do not really know that much about it.

    The vocabulary size depends also on the personality of a speaker. There are more quiet regions apparently where farmers use 500 words, or at least used to use in the not that remote past. This was considered their vocabulary.
     
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    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    The vocabulary size depends also on the personality of a speaker. There are more quiet regions apparently where farmers use 500 words, or at least used to use in the not that remote past.
    If you have a source for those two claims, I'd be interested in reading it in another thread. However, I fear that we're drifting away from the topic of this thread... :eek: ;)
     
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    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I know that there is a difference in the number of signs necessary to read and write in such languages as Chinese and Korean. The difference is apparently quite big. There is something like simplified Chinese which uses fewer signs, but I do not really know that much about it.
    I fail to see the relevance of writing issue with the size of the vocabulary issue here.
    But just for the information, modern Korean actually uses fewer letters than the Roman alphabet.
    And Simplified Chinese uses fewer strokes to write the signs, they do not use fewer signs. (Although very slightly fewer, because of merge of some characters)

    There are more quiet regions apparently where farmers use 500 words, or at least used to use in the not that remote past. This was considered their vocabulary.
    It is probable that their lexical pool is bigger in other areas. They would know tons of words about agriculture, fauna and flora that a normal urban dweller would have never heard of.
     
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    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    I don't think that the word tale is too meaningful. English is a now a mongrel tongue ... mostly a half-breed between Anglo-Germanic and French-Latin. From that alone, we get high tale of words. Throw in that English has eath word upspringing, and it the tale grows. The words are there now and cannot be cleansed from the tongue but we can show a greater liking to the Anglo-Germanic root words.

    I have a very long list words that I can swap in and out ... and it grows almost daily! I think if I were to print it out, it would be nearly 30 pages. Many of the words are in a woodbook … bewried with dust!

    For byspel, for the Latinate verb "to use" ... there is brook from OE brūcan - use, enjoy, possess, partake of, spend ... or (a little more befuddling) note ... from Middle English noten, notien ... from OE notian (“to make use of, use, employ, enjoy).

    And don't bind yourself to just OE ... There were many Germanic words that drifted in (and out) during ME.

    Another word that drifted out was skift. It is a good one for "effort". Skift was also a verb whch meant to divide/portion out from OE sciftan (“To divide, distribute, allot, place, order, arrange”).

    Huru was a good one that meant many things to include "especially".
    Widderwin (also widerwin, witherwin) meant opponent, adversary. (Liken to widdershins = counterclockwise … still in the wordbook)

    There are many that are still in the wordbook, if a little dusty:

    advice/advise = rede
    dern = secret
    eath = easy
    eathly = easily
    umbe = around
    wanhope (wan + hope) = despair, lacking hoping
    wanbelief or unbelief instead of disbelief
    wantrust or untrust for distrust

    The list goes on!
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    If you have a source for those two claims, I'd be interested in reading it in another thread. However, I fear that we're drifting away from the topic of this thread... :eek: ;)
    Unfortunately, I cannot find the exact source right now. It was related to a group of islanders living on some islands in Scandinavia. I am pretty sure, it was Gotland, but I cannot guarantee it. It was the average vocabulary used by those farmers. Of course, the dialect itself, could have had many more words.

    Maybe they did not need to name things. Maybe there is a different level of knowledge beyond giving names to things, but this is just pure speculation.
     
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    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The vocabulary size depends also on the personality of a speaker. There are more quiet regions apparently where farmers use 500 words, or at least used to use in the not that remote past. This was considered their vocabulary.
    This sound like an urban legend. Even the langauges of peoples living on a very low technological level have many thousands words. The 500 words you mention refers probably to what they use every day, not to what they are able to say. An average American with a simple manual job will rather not use more words than 500 words in everyday's speech, while speaking about daily life, while he probably can use actively at leat 20000 and understand the double.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    Why discard easy for eath?
    As Terredepomme said it is from French, from Latin.

    There are many such words in English that are post 1066 Latinates ... use (brook), clear (ME sutel, sotel, swutel), cause (sake), simple (displaced anfald, onefold), real(ly) (truly), very (truly, ferly), per (for; perhaps won out over mayhap), betray (bewray), blame (wite), cover (bewry), deprive (benim), disagree, deny, oppose (gainsay), equality (evenhood), example (byspel, bisen [byseen]), joy (wynn) ... many, many more.

    BTW, most the English words in ( ) above, can still be found in the wordbooks, they're marked "obsolete" or "archaic" ... or Scottish! lol
     

    koniecswiata

    Senior Member
    Am English
    LilianaB,
    You can find information on the Slavic origin of various German city names. Berlin apparently comes from "swampy place". Others that can be added are Rostock (similar to Polish zatoka, just roztoka), Leipzig (lipa--tree), Drawehn (a region of Lower Saxony), Göhrde (a large forest in lower Saxony). There are many. It has to do with history--for the same reason. many German versions of names in Silesia or Pommerania were of Slavic origin.
    LoboSolo, your experiment is interesting, but it shows how much of the language you are using is already pretty unintelligible to the average English-speaker without an interest or knack for etymology. Eath, dern, bewried, umbe etc... might as well belong to some foreign language for all intents and purposes.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Hi Berndf. I'm sorry. My level of German is limited so I can't come up with precise examples. I remember an Austrian professor telling me once that even in the time of Kaiser Wilhem there was a germanization campaign going on. It was in the context of railway vocabulary. Fahrkarte not billet, or zug not train. Am I right there? That would mean it's a movement not necessary something dating from the Third Reicht.
    Yes, as I said, the driving force behind this was the Allgemeiner Deutscher Sprachverein. The Verein's most active period was under his founder Hermann Riegel from 1885 (foundation of the Verein) and 1900 (Riegel's death).
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    What is your theory on the Slavic origin of such names and Berlin, Lubeck etc.? I am just interested.
    Related to post 121.
    LilianaB,
    You can find information on the Slavic origin of various German city names. Berlin apparently comes from "swampy place". Others that can be added are Rostock (similar to Polish zatoka, just roztoka), Leipzig (lipa--tree), Drawehn (a region of Lower Saxony), Göhrde (a large forest in lower Saxony). There are many. It has to do with history--for the same reason. many German versions of names in Silesia or Pommerania were of Slavic origin.

    Lübeck
    (< W. Slavic Lubice) represents the westernmost extend of the Slavic language area in the Middles Ages (around 1000CE). At this time the area on the right side of the Elbe river east of Lübeck was as well as the area around the Saale river on the left side of the Elbe river were Slavic speaker at that time. The Wendland area Koniecswiata mentioned ("a large forest in lower Saxony") was a Polabic speaking pocket on the left side of the northern Elbe river with obviously Slavic place names (Lüchow, Wustrow, Gartow, ...). Polabic (the W Slavic language originally spoken in the N-E, i.e. Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the Wendland region in Lower Saxony) become extinct in the mid 18th century. So did the W. Slavic languages in the Saale region. Lower and Upper Sorbic, the W. Slavic languages of the Lower and Upper Lausitz regions in SE-Brandenburg and E Saxony are still alive and are officially recognized minority languages.

    I recon something like 1/3 of the place names in the areas described above are of Slavic origin.
     
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    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    LoboSolo, your experiment is interesting, but it shows how much of the language you are using is already pretty unintelligible to the average English-speaker without an interest or knack for etymology. Eath, dern, bewried, umbe etc... might as well belong to some foreign language for all intents and purposes.
    And isn't that a shame? I don't usually use so many at once since it would overwhelm the average person but that is what the thread is about. I do try to spread them out. You can't edquicken (revive) the Old English words if you don't use them! Isn't that the ettle? :)
     

    koniecswiata

    Senior Member
    Am English
    And isn't that a shame? I don't usually use so many at once since it would overwhelm the average person but that is what the thread is about. I do try to spread them out. You can't edquicken (revive) the Old English words if you don't use them! Isn't that the ettle? :)

    --It may be fun, but it shows that it isn't really English anymore. Old English, or this "Old-Englishized" language, is not English. I know that sounds a bit provocative.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    --It may be fun, but it shows that it isn't really English anymore. Old English, or this "Old-Englishized" language, is not English. I know that sounds a bit provocative.
    So are you saying that since some folks don't know some words that those words are no longer English words? There are many, many words in the wordbook that I do not know. I learn a new word almost every day. Were they not English words before I knew them?

    It isn't that the words aren't English or that brooking them isn't English, it's the mindset that Latinates are better than the Anglo-Germanic root words. We have met the widderwin, and he is us.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    The natural development of the English tung was broken by the Takeover in 1066. Old English edquickening (revival) isn't about speaking with grammar framework of Old English but rather it's about:

    1) keeping those words of Anglo-Germanic wordstock that are still to be found ... like eath, umbe, gainsay, quickening, asf
    2) then reaching back to edquicken those words that have been lost to us ... like huru (especially), tungol (planet), tungolcraft (astronomy), asf
    3) ending the mindset that Latinates are better words or more "elegant"

    You don't think that you're using Old English / Anglo-Saxon wordstock every day? <<< In that sentence that I just wrote, there was only one Latinate. The others were from OE roots. Almost all the words that I have used on this thread can still be found in the wordbooks. That is not "Old English" ... that is English. They are still there to be used. Why would anyone naysay using them?
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    I do not know if this is possible in any language, maybe over time. I do not know if anybody can force people to use certain words instead of others. I like Old English, the way it sounds,
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    3) ending the mindset that Latinates are better words or more "elegant"
    Power and elegance of language is based on the choice of appropriate words to express what you are trying to say and not on some airy-fairy, nostalgic ideology about the alleged "purity" of a language in a distant past.

    I do not know if anybody can force people to use certain words instead of others.
    I hope not!:eek:
     

    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Power and elegance of language is based on the choice of appropriate words to express what you are trying to say and not on some airy-fairy, nostalgic ideology about the alleged "purity" of a language in a distant past.
    I don't think he's talking about the elegance of language but the elegance of certain words. And it IS a general trend that latinate words have more sense of elegance and official-ness than their germanic equivalents. And it is also a general trend that the lexical pool borrowed from a group considered culturally superior tend to retain their authority. Such is the case with Sinitic words in Korean and Japanese which comprise the vast majority of vocabularity in fields like politics, science, etc instead of native Korean and Japanese words.
    I do not necessarily agree with him that we should shun latinate words, but it is true that these words retain their power as the sophisticated vocabulary. Perhaps that is one of the biggest reasons why they were never replaced.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    I do not know if this is possible in any language, maybe over time. I do not know if anybody can force people to use certain words instead of others. I like Old English, the way it sounds,
    When I say ending the mindset, I don't mean forcibly. I like the way most old words sound as well ... that's the mindset that we need have.

    @berndf ... let me give you a quote:

    From The Romance of Words, 1912, Chapter 1.
    The every-day vocabulary of the less educated is of Old English, commonly called Anglo-Saxon, origin ...
    That mindset is STILL with us! To quote terredepomme: And it is also a general trend that the lexical pool borrowed from a group considered culturally superior tend to retain their authority. That is what happened after the Takeover in 1066 and still haunts us to this day.

    @terredepomme
    I don't think he's talking about the elegance of language but the elegance of certain words.
    ... YES!

    Is appropriate better than befitting? Or fitting? Or right. I don't think so. I think "the right words" is much better than "the appropriate words".

    What is the word language but Latin for tung? Why do I need to brook a Latinate when I have an Anglo word that means the same thing?

    What is "airy-fairy" is the thought that Latinates are somehow more "elegant", better (superior), or more fitting (appropriate) than the Anglo-Germanic root words that they shoved aside. The so-called "educated" brook Latinates while "the every-day vocabulary of the less educated is of Old English". This mindset is killing off words that have been in the English tung since the beginning. For byspel, the word meed (medu in OE) was one of the first OE words written. Meed is still with us, clinging to life in the OED ... marked as "archaic". Would it not be a shame to lose one of the first words written in English to a Latinate?
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I don't think he's talking about the elegance of language but the elegance of certain words. And it IS a general trend that latinate words have more sense of elegance and official-ness than their germanic equivalents.
    When I say ending the mindset, I don't mean forcibly. I like the way most old words sound as well ... that's the mindset that we need have.

    @berndf ... let me give you a quote:

    From The Romance of Words, 1912, Chapter 1.

    That mindset is STILL with us!
    But this isn't really a reason to replace one barmy ideology by the opposite one, is it?

    A truly great orator or writer wouldn't be impressed by either of them.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    But this isn't really a reason to replace one barmy ideology by the opposite one, is it?

    A truly great orator or writer wouldn't be impressed by either of them.
    Yes and no. In the best world, I could brook either one and be understood ... and not judged as "uneducated" or "barmy" :). As someone is more than halfway thru my Great American Novel, I cannot brook only non-Latinates and be eathly understood. On a challenge, I wrote a short story brooking very few and the editor told me not to use "so many Middle English" words. Of course, they weren't ME ... nonetheless, since we haven't been brooking these words much, brooking too many of them sends a reader to the wordbook way too often hinders the wynness (enjoyment) of reading it.

    I'v been a free-speller since my high-school days when I found out that altho, tho, and thru were in the wordbook. I'v had many talks with teachers in HS and at the university about brooking these but I held my ground. Now add in that I'm somewhat of an "Anglisher", and many folks think that I'm more than a little odd. :O

    Try on a few the old words ... sprinkle them out ... You may find yourself having a little fun doing it. :D
     
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