Purify English / Old English revival

Alxmrphi

Senior Member
UK English
Sorry if the answer is hidden in the netherpages but what do you mean when you say 'brook'?
I've seen you mention it quite a lot on this page and I haven't got the foggiest idea what you mean by it. I looked in a dictionary and saw a definition of 'tolerate/allow', but that doesn't fit in the way you've been using it. So forgive my intrusion here, I was just curious and wanting to expand my vocabulary :D
 
  • LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    @Alxrphi ... Yes, the meaning in today's wordbooks often limit it. You must find an unabridged.

    Webster's 1913 Unabridged:

    Brook \Brook\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Brooked; p. pr. & vb. n. Brooking.] [ME. broken, bruken, to use, enjoy, digest, AS. brūcan; akin to D. gebruiken to use, OHG. pr?hhan, G. brauchen, gebrauchen, Icel. br?ka, Goth. br?kjan, and L. frui, to enjoy. Cf. Fruit, Broker.] 1. To use; to enjoy. [Obs.] 2. To bear; to endure; to put up with; to tolerate; as, young men can not brook restraint. --Spenser. Shall we, who could not brook one lord, Crouch to the wicked ten? --Macaulay. 3. To deserve; to earn. [Obs.]
     

    Meat

    New Member
    English-USA-NJ
    Pretty sure he uses it as "to use".

    From m-w.com:

    Middle English brouken to use, enjoy, from Old English brūcan; akin to Old High German brūhhan to use, Latin frui to enjoyFirst Known Use: 15th century
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    A good word for "to endure, suffer, tolerate" is thole. To thole the winter's steely dribble. --Burns.

    I have no idea if the Star Trek writers knew of the word thole and when they created the "Tholian Web".

    Another is dree. To dree one's weird is to "endure one's fate".
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    On a challenge, I wrote a short story brooking very few and the editor told me not to use "so many Middle English" words.
    Words change their meanings. That is the most natural thing in the wold. To brook simply doesn't mean to use any more but to tolerate. Equally it doesn't make sense to call the language we use here Dutch only because it is derived from þeodisc which once meant English or the call bread "meat" just because "meat" meant "food" until about 400 years ago. Randomly using words in any meaning its etymons ever had makes language adds so much pointless ambiguity to a language as to render it completely useless. Using language which defies its primary purpose (namely to convey meaning) can never be good or elegant language and is certainly nothing to strive for.
     
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    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    A good word for "to endure, suffer, tolerate" is thole
    Ah yeah, that one I'm familiar with (þola).

    Words change their meanings. That is the most natural thing in the wold. To brook simply doesn't mean to use any more but to tolerate. Equally it doesn't make sense to call the language we use here Dutch only because it is derived fromþeodisc which once meant English or the call bread "meat" just because "meat" meant "food" until about 400 years ago. Randomly using words in any meaning its etymons ever had makes language adds so much pointless ambiguity to a language as to render it completely useless. Using language which defies its primary purpose (namely to convey meaning) can never be good or elegant language and is certainly nothing to to strive for.
    I have to agree completely.
    I was wondering how to word the same sentiments in such a good way.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    To brook simply doesn't mean to use any more but to tolerate.
    Oh that's not true. It may have picked up the additional meaning of to tolerate but it still retains its old meanings as well. The old meanings are still in the unabridged wordbooks. And the Scots, bless them, still use brook in the sense of "to use". Not only that, as you might expect, on forums discussing Anglish, it is used. So the old meaning isn't dead.

    BTW, food (OE fōda) has been umbe since the early days. AFAIK, mete never meant bread. You can still use meat today, in context, in the sense of food.

    More meaningful tho is that you're, again, missing the point of edquickening old words and meanings (ed- = re-). You cannot do so if you take a pedantic, conservative, and timid stance. Many words over the centuries have been edquickened by writers being bold and reaching back for a word or a meaning. For byspel, armor ... "The word might have died with jousting if not for late 19c. transference to metal-shielded machinery beginning with U.S. Civil War ironclads ...". If folks back in the late 19c had taken your stand then the word would not have been edquickened and in broad use today.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Oh that's not true. It may have picked up the additional meaning of to tolerate but it still retains its old meanings as well. The old meanings are still in the unabridged wordbooks. And the Scots, bless them, still use brook in the sense of "to use". Not only that, as you might expect, on forums discussing Anglish, it is used. So the old meaning isn't dead.
    Well it is. More comprehensive dictionaries also document historical meanings. That doesn't mean those meanings still exist. Also the 1913 Webster mark the the meaning to brook = to use as "obsolete".

    BTW, food (OE fōda) has been umbe since the early days.
    Yes. I never said anything to the contrary.
    AFAIK, mete never meant bread.
    I didn't say meat meant bread; I said bread was (a kind of) meat in the sense of food.
    You can still use meat today, in context, in the sense of food.
    Only if you intend to cause confusion.

    More meaningful tho is that you're, again, missing the point of edquickening old words and meanings (ed- = re-). You cannot do so ...
    Why should you? English is a living language. No ideologist decides on its development. Actual usage does. Influential authors may sometime succeed in (re-)establishing certain new (old) words. Larger scale re-designing a language only makes sense and only works in exceptional circumstances, e.g. the Modern Hebrew which is a "designed" language where vocabulary on purpose connected to Mishnaic Hebrew, undoing developments of Medieval Hebrew, similar to what you suggest.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    to brook = to use as "obsolete"
    Obsolete doesn't mean dead. My computer may be obsolete but it is still usable. Further, once marked obsolete doesn't mean that it can't be edquickened. For byspel, I often brook the word "eath".

    The Webster's 1913 has it marked as obsolete.
    The online M-W has it as "Scottish".
    The OED doesn't have it at all!
    dictionary.com and wiktionary make no reference to its usage but have it.
    Wordnik even gives it scrabble points!

    So was it mistakenly marked obsolete in 1913 or has it been edquickened? I don't know. I don't see it in widespread use. None the less, it seems that it is no longer obsolete.

    OTOH, there is the word stadtholder. The office of stadtholder was abolished in 1795. Outside of historical references, the word isn't in use ... I ween that it should be marked as obsolete but it isn't. So who is to say?

    Why should you? English is a living language.
    The better frain is: Why shouldn't I? I'm not the one who is trying to pigeonhole the meaning or use of a word. We both agree that English is a living tung ... That, for me, includes old words and old meanings.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Obsolete doesn't mean dead.
    In linguistics it does. Dictionaries distinguish between obsolete (word no longer in use) and obsolescing (word still in use but use is increasingly rare and considered archaic).

    The online M-W has it as "Scottish".
    I find it only under "Scots" which is different from "Scottish". Different languages can use words differently. In German e.g. bekommen (=become) means "to get". This doesn't mean to become can be used with this meaning in English.
    The OED doesn't have it at all!
    That would surprise me. You have to bear with me until tonight. My OED copy is on paper and at home.
    ...wiktionary make no reference to its usage but have it.
    Here: 1. (transitive, obsolete, except in Scots) To use; enjoy; have the full employment of.

    The better frain is: Why shouldn't I? I'm not the one who is trying to pigeonhole the meaning or use of a word. We both agree that English is a living tung ... That, for me, includes old words and old meanings.
    Fortunately, it doesn't mean that ideologists rein.:)
     

    Hulalessar

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It is fun to speculate what English would have been like without the Norman Invasion and the later influx of Latinate words, but it is wholly impracticable to propose seriously that the lexicon of Modern English should have all "foreign" words excised and the gaps filled by new words based on Old English. LoboSolo wants to go even further and ignore semantic shift. Will we be required to use "silly" to mean "happy"?

    All languages are rich but rich in different ways. English has the benefit of three registers based on the origin of the words used: the English, Anglo-Norman and Classical. By all means let those who wish to favour the English do so, but the plain fact is that you cannot get very far without imposing a strain on the language by ignoring the Anglo-Norman and Classical contributions. "Bring a stool to the board and eat your meat" just does not mean the same thing as "Bring a chair to the table and eat your supper". I am not saying that with some ingenuity long passages cannot be produced, but is the effort worth it?

    Some may point to what has happened in Icelandic, but Iceland has a small homogeneous highly literate population with a strong sense of history. English is spoken by millions in many different cultures.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings all:

    This has all been a highly entertaining correspondence. I have withheld so far, but may draw now what German Philologists might call a Bilanz?

    1. Everyone agrees that English is of remarkably various origin, both in formal grammar, past and present usage, and contemporary flexibility.
    2. The English vocabulary is, among modern spoken languages, probably the richest, at least in terms of the sheer number of words or stems registered by professional lexicographers, of any currently in use around the globe.
    3. Modern English is, for all its admixtures in loan-words, absorption of grammatical and lexical things from other tongues - Celtic, Latin, Norman-French, Amerindian, Hindi, Chinese and other sources - still grammatically a Germanic tongue.
    4. The dialects of English, from Glasgow to New England, Saskatchewan and Australia always develop their own local lexical, orthographic and phonological formulations, and are bound to do so. That is in the nature of the Darwinian evolution of language.
    5. Any attempt to "purify" English, by rejecting the Latinate or other classical roots, and to re-adopt the A-S forms, would be absurd: we might accept y-clept, y-bounden &c. in Christmas carols, but we shall not stop talking about "politics", "religion" or "sport" (of Anglo-French origin), "scoundrel" (likewise).

    This is what makes English such a magnificent medium for poetry - we will concede to the Italians, Germans and Russians their supremacy in music, and to the Dutch, Renaissance Italian artists and some others, theirs in the related fields.

    But precisely because of its long and richly mixed history, we can concede to none in poetry - including that of the Authorised Version of the Bible, whose anniversary we contemplate and celebrate this year.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    But precisely because of its long and richly mixed history, we can concede to none in poetry - including that of the Authorised Version of the Bible, whose anniversary we contemplate and celebrate this year.
    How true. The poetry of the most widely acclaimed poets in English History, Chaucer and Shakespeare, is characterized drawing on all the facets of the this wealth of words in the English language of their respective times.

    On the other hand, neither French, nor Italian, nor German poetry have to submit to English poetry either (I don't now enough about Russian to judge). The great poets of these languages have found their own ways so created magnificent poetry. Watching Shakespeare plays in translation is almost invariably a disappointment (especially in German, not only because even Schlegel's magnificent translation can't match the original but even more so because German stage acting and directing tradition cannot capture the subtle comedy you find even in Shakespeare's darkest dramas). But the great performances of Goethe in German or Molière in French do not have to hide behind Shakespeare in any way.

    Concerning the the poetic text of the Bible (all in the OT), I appreciate the forceful language of the KJV (as well as Luther's, btw); but it does't stand the comparison with the Hebrew original. Poetry is always at its best when enjoyed in its native environment.
     
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    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Dear berndf

    But the great performances of Goethe in German or Molière in French do not have to hide behind Shakespeare in any way.

    Concerning the the poetic text of the Bible (all in the OT), I appreciate the forceful language of the KJV (as well as Luther's, btw); but it does't stand the comparison with the Hebrew original. Poetry is always at its best when enjoyed in its native environment.
    Maybe this should have been put in a PM, but I would like publicly to declare that I so much value your scholarship and contribution on this one.

    I do enjoy Goethe, Schiller, Hans Sachs and Molière too, Brecht indeed. And Luther's Bible, which I absolutely acknowledge has been as formative and influential on modern German as the King James Bible on modern English, is a terrific monument of scholarship and in the best sense spirituality.

    Sadly, my Hebrew is very scanty, but this I work on still. But I shall always love nevertheless the Coverdale English (in the BCP), while accepting its scholarly imperfections.

    I should have added:

    Tieck wasn't so bad, after all - and my favourite German poet is Heine.

    If this was out of place, please delete and regard as a PM.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    But I shall always love nevertheless the Coverdale English (in the BCP), while accepting its scholarly imperfections.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't want to belittle the great bible translations. And why shouldn't you love the Coverdale Bible? I just find the original even better.

    BTW: Our Friend LoboSolo will particularly enjoy reading the Coverdale Bible for all its archaisms, e.g. he still uses to deal in the original sense of to divide: Then God deuyded ye light from the darcknes, and called the light, Daye: and the darcknes, Night (Genesis 1.4&5).
     
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    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    I'm sure that most people posting in this thread have seen the Anglish Moot site: {link}. I find its rendering of the book of Genesis powerful and direct: {link}. Somehow, the "Anglish" words have more muscle than the ones we are used to.
    Wow. Thanks for sharing. So interesting. I wasn't aware such a movement existed. The "I have a dream speech" in anglish is amazing. Unfortunately, I don't understand Anglish at all. Is there an opposite movement that exaggerates Greco-Latin and Norman-French roots?
     

    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    2. The English vocabulary is, among modern spoken languages, probably the richest, at least in terms of the sheer number of words or stems registered by professional lexicographers, of any currently in use around the globe.
    Enough anglocentricism. How would you ever know if it is the richest of all languages? There are thousands of languages around the world, have you counted them all? You cannot make a comparison of mere number of words to draw a conclusion that a vocabulary is richer than the other. Not all languages require a new word to create a new meaning; some simply combine existing words. Japanese and Chinese can use their Hanzi combination to make practically an infinate number of "words." But I would never claim that they are richer than other languages since I speak only several languages and the vast majority of human languages are beyond my knowledge.

    But precisely because of its long and richly mixed history, we can concede to none in poetry
    And others will not concede to you. Literature is not your football tournament where the nations compete to select a winner. Literature is valuable because it expresses a specific psyche of a society through that society's language. Poetries in different languages simply perform different roles instead of being superior or inferior to one another.

    absorption of grammatical and lexical things from other tongues - Celtic, Latin, Norman-French, Amerindian, Hindi, Chinese and other sources
    Non-Latin and non-scandinavian roots of English are exagerrated. Celtic influence on English is negligeable. Amerindian lexicon is also quite limited, and can be seen in just about every European language of the American Continent, inclueding Quebec French. Hindi, Chinese, and "other sources?" Name ten Chinese and Hindi words that have entered the English vocabulary except for those that are directly related to Chinese and Indian societies and cultures.
    The English being a significantly more "open" and "diverse" language is more or less a myth. Its primary foreign roots are Latino-French, and for other sources, it accepts foreign loanwords just as much as other languages do, to my knowledge.
    Korean, Japanese, and Chinese accepted tens of thousands of European words(or better said, "casques") during the 20th century to express the imported ideas from their civilizations. The only difference is that most of them were translated with their Hanzi roots. It shows that 1)you don't need to import directly new words to enrich a language's vocabulary 2) the East Asian languages are just as open to foreign influence as English or any other European languages, but in another form.
     
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    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    In linguistics it does. Dictionaries distinguish between obsolete (word no longer in use) and obsolescing (word still in use but use is increasingly rare and considered archaic).
    Then explain how eath was marked obsolete in Webster's 1913 Unabridged yet isn't marked so now? Either the wordbook made a mistake or folks kept using despite Webster's marking it obsolete. Either way, just because Webster's marked it as obsolete didn't mean that it couldn't be brooked. Remember, wordbooks are only tools. They're very useful tools but they are not the end-all when it comes to words otherwise the tung would never change. A wordbook may list a word as obsolete because the editors believe that as far as they know, it is no longer brooked, but that in no way limits the brooking of it by folks.


    Truly, think about. Of all the millions of words brooked every day, how does a small group of editors decide which are obsolete and on what criteria? Who brooks "repast" for a meal? Why isn't this word "obsolete"? Is it because there might be a few folks somewhere who put on a formal invite? I don't know. Who brooks stadtholder?


    I will say that it felt odd the first few times that I brooked "brook" instead of "use" ... But then, I never brooked "brook" as a verb before anyway. I never brook it for "tolerate". Meh ... So it was only a matter of brooking a little known verb. :D


    Originally Posted by LoboSolo

    ...wiktionary make no reference to its usage but have it.
    Here: 1. (transitive, obsolete, except in Scots) To use; enjoy; have the full employment of.


    My quote was referring to eath. But since you brought it up, ... obsolete except in Scots ... So if I were a Scot then I could use it in that sense and expect you to understand me? You'll find that the Scots have kept many old words alive! I found that out at the after-rugby-game party with the team from the Scottish regiment. It wasn't just the accent that was throwing me off at times it was the old words!


    Different languages can use words differently. In German e.g. bekommen (=become) means "to get". This doesn't mean to become can be used with this meaning in English.



    We're not talking about importing a German word or brooking the meaning of German cognate. Apples and oranges.


    I find it only under "Scots" which is different from "Scottish".


    You'll have to take that up with M-W:


    Definition of EATH
    Scottish
    : easy


    That would surprise me. You have to bear with me until tonight. My OED copy is on paper and at home.
    I hope eath is in your paper copy. It's not in my electronic version on my computer nor when I looked online.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    We're not talking about importing a German word or brooking the meaning of German cognate. Apples and oranges.
    Exactly, nor are we talking about importing words from Scots into English.

    You'll have to take that up with M-W:


    Definition of EATH
    Scottish
    : easy
    I know, some dictionaries (American ones in particular) have dropped the distinction. As Scots used to be a literary language in its own right, I prefer to keep it.
    I hope eath is in your paper copy. It's not in my electronic version on my computer nor when I looked online.
    It has it, marked Obs. exc. Sc.
     
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    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    It is fun to speculate what English would have been like without the Norman Invasion and the later influx of Latinate words, but it is wholly impracticable to propose seriously that the lexicon of Modern English should have all "foreign" words excised and the gaps filled by new words based on Old English. LoboSolo wants to go even further and ignore semantic shift.
    I'll agree that it would be impracticable and even unwanted to cleanse the tung and wordbooks of all outlander words. But there is no reason why we can't tilt the usage back towards Anglo-Germanic root words.

    Anent the semantic shift, it is eath to see that somehow brook gained the extra meaning was that a semantic shift that should have stomped down at the time it was happening? And as Bernf points out, above from wiktionary, it seems that the old meaning is still in play in Scotland. Why should the Scots get to brook it as such and not the rest of us?

    Believe it or not, I don't dislike all Latinates. While I find most of them weak and dull, there are few that I like. I like the words "prey" and its sibling "predator". To me, they ring of evil and darkness. Putting in a few Latinates for "flavor" is ok.


    There are many, many good Anglo-Germanic root words that were displaced after 1066 that, in the natural evolution of the tung, likely would not have been. For byspel, there wouldn't be a "parliament" (from Old French). It would more likely be the witanagemoot.


    It's the thought that Latinates are better or more "elegant" or, as in the quote above, that words of Anglo-Saxon are used by the "uneducated" that I find bothersome. Does it not bother anyone that we offer Latin to school kids but not classes in Old English / Anglo-Saxon? We teach a dead outlander tung but not our own.

    "Bring a stool to the board and eat your meat" just does not mean the same thing as "Bring a chair to the table and eat your supper". I am not saying that with some ingenuity long passages cannot be produced, but is the effort worth it?
    Yet we have the "Board of Directors" rather than the "table of directors" and we "board" folks for the night rather than table them, we offer "room and board" rather than "room and table". You left out "evening" on the meat for supper. OE choices for supper were:


    æfengereord n. evening meal, supper
    æfengereordung f. supper
    æfen-giefl, -gifl n. evening repast, supper (Repast? Does anyone ever brook that?)
    æfenmete m. supper

    Having said that, supper is, in the end, of Germanic upspring.



     
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    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings once more

    Name ten Chinese and Hindi words that have entered the English vocabulary
    With pleasure - but not a scientific, let alone exhaustive, list:

    bandana
    bangle
    Blighty
    bungalow
    cheetah
    chicane(ry)
    chit
    cot
    cushy
    dinghy
    gung-ho
    jodhpur
    ketchup
    kowtow
    loot
    pundit
    pyjamas
    silk
    typhoon

    And from Celtic:

    bard
    ben
    bird
    bog
    brogue
    cairn
    clan
    crag
    galore
    slogan
    trousers
    (best of the lot) whisk(e)y
     
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    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    cheetah, ketchup, bandana, bangle, bungalow, typhoon, kowtow, pyjamas, jodhpur, cot, dinghy, pundit
    As I've said, except for those that are directly related to Chinese and Indian societies and cultures. These all designate animal species, products, customs, or natural phenomenons originating from India or China. Just because they can be sometimes used analogically does not mean that they have gone through enough abstraction process to be a word detached from its specific designation of a Chinese or Indian importation. Then practically anything would be able to be considered as loanwords: Spaghetti and samurai would be Italian and Japanese loanwords. You can pronounce all the names of Chinese teas in English and say that they are English words just because you pronounced or spelled them in English. Also, most of these words can equally be found in Korean, Japanese, and French by the way.

    The only words that meet my criteria would be
    chit, cushy, loot, gung-ho
    Three Indian words and one Chinese word. The influx of Indian loanwords is not surprising due to its colonial contact with India that lasted for centuries. It is worthwhile to mention that Korean and Japanese have many Indic words as well although they had only distant contacts with india, and in their case, the Indic words are mostly not related to anything specific from India, but rather totally abstract concepts: baka(stupid) in Japanese(from san. moka), geondalbae(gangster) in Korean(from san. gandharba).

    And also



    chicane(ry)
    comes from French chicaner.
     
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    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    You forgot a very important English word of Chinese origin (Cantonese to be precise): tea.
    As I've said, a specific product or custom imported from a country maintaining the original name is nothing special, just like we call the sushi as sushi and not rice-fish. And for this word, almost every language that I am aware of has accepted this word in the same way: Cha in Korean, Japanese and Mandarin, thé in French, Tee in German, and most of all thee in Dutch, where the English got it from.
    It's from an Amoy(Min) dialect by the way, not Cantonese.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    Don't get me wrong, I don't want to belittle the great bible translations. And why shouldn't you love the Coverdale Bible? I just find the original even better.

    BTW: Our Friend LoboSolo will particularly enjoy reading the Coverdale Bible for all its archaisms, e.g. he still uses to deal in the original sense of to divide: Then God deuyded ye light from the darcknes, and called the light, Daye: and the darcknes, Night (Genesis 1.4&5).
    A friend once told me that I wouldn't be able to understand the early translations of the Bible ... I amazed him that I understood much of the passage he gave to me to read. I have found that old writings that I had once shunned are now more enjoyable (in-wynn-able?).

    Once the old spellings are cleaned up, we should be able to read and understand those old writings but sadly, most cannot. One shouldn't need to have so many words glossed. A word like widderwin (also widerwin, witherwin[e]) shouldn't make us scratch our heads ... we should know the forefast widder- (as in widdershins) means contra-, against- ... someone who is against you winning is your opponent, adversary, or enemy ... your widderwin. But you can see how much flak I'm taking for brooking an older meaning of the verb "to brook" in place of "to use" so you can only imagine what would happen if I threw out widderwin! :confused:... OTOH, maybe because it did truly die out, it could be edquickened more eathly! Without so much controversy. :p

     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It's not flak! It was just a genuine case of never having heard that usage before in English. When people don't use words among each other it is a case of a sort of linguistic transformation into a permanent archaic nature (a fancy way of saying death). It's not like it's a rare word that only pops up every now and again, with a meaning of 'use' I'd expect it to be quite common. I'm all for the Germanic languages and their native wordstock (through knowing Icelandic and starting to learn Swedish) I grow to make all sorts of nice bonds with certain words of a Germanic nature. At the same time I can't deny that Latinate terms do come across as much more scientific and academic. I am also fully aware that it's our collective conditioning that brings these nuances along and has nothing to do with their inherent nature at all. But at the end of the day, many of them go back to the same root anyway and we're just looking at different paths.. 'brook/fruit', 'father/padre', 'fire/pyre' so any social attitudes we attach arise from our culture and our conditioning, which can clearly be attributed to Latin being the language of science and advancement when English needed so many new words to describe new concepts.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    Exactly, nor are we talking about importing words from Scots into English.

    I know, some dictionaries (American ones in particular) have dropped the distinction. As Scots used to be a literary language in its own right, I prefer to keep it.

    It has it, marked Obs. exc. Sc.
    Well, I think I see a basic disagreement between us. You seem to view Scottish-English (Scots) as a separate, foreign tung. Whereas I see it as nothing more than just one of the many sub-groups … American-English, British-English, Australian-English, asf. You place words in Scottish-English as off limits to be used by the rest of us … Do you do the same with American-English? Are words used by Americans but not by Brits also off limits? I wouldn't say that "y'all", a Southernism is off limits to the rest of the English speaking world just because it is mainly used by folks in the South.


    Since the Scots were farther away from the French/Anglo centric seat of power, it isn't amazing that they have kept more of the true English words and meanings that you seem to be naysaying. And that's the real irony … you seem to be placing Scottish-English in the category of a foreign tung, when it has more true English words and meanings than Latinate heavy tung that the rest of use. And I think it is fair to say that some of that is part of American-English due to immigration.


    So we'll just have to agree to disagree … I no more think of Scottish-English as a foreign tung than I do Australian-English … a little odd at times maybe, but not foreign. Would help you to know that I do have some Scottish ancestry? (I'm an all-American mutt with genes from several parts of Europe and American Indian.) Does that make it ok for me brook the words in the way the Scots do?
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Well, I think I see a basic disagreement between us. You seem to view Scottish-English (Scots) :thumbsdown::thumbsdown:as a separate, foreign tung. Whereas I see it as nothing more than just one of the many sub-groups … American-English, British-English, Australian-English, asf. You place words in Scottish-English as off limits to be used by the rest of us … Do you do the same with American-English? Are words used by Americans but not by Brits also off limits? I wouldn't say that "y'all", a Southernism is off limits to the rest of the English speaking world just because it is mainly used by folks in the South.
    Scots is not Scottish English.
    Scottish English and Scots are different on a multitude of levels.
    Some people view Scots as a separate branch of one of the many West Germanic dialects that developed in parallel with the dialects that came to be Old English.
    Others see it more of a later offshoot, but it is absolutely not to be considered a variety like a simple variant like you have Californian English or Alaskan English, that's what Scottish English is, not Scots.

    You're also talking about words as if they have an inherent English quality... Scots can still be viewed as a foreign tongue and be equally Germanic. Most of these words are present in Nordic languages, too, which are much more foreign and not "true English". "True Germanic" would be a more fitting label here. Saying they come from a different variety doesn't undermine they have the same roots as where English came from. It seems to not be clear in this discussion that English is not some offshoot of a long-standing development, which is what it is. English is no starting point for anything, purely a name for a continuum that's been going on since time immemorial.

    So we'll just have to agree to disagree … I no more think of Scottish-English as a foreign tung than I do Australian-English … a little odd at times maybe, but not foreign. Would help you to know that I do have some Scottish ancestry? (I'm an all-American mutt with genes from several parts of Europe and American Indian.) Does that make it ok for me brook the words in the way the Scots do?
    That's what berndf (and I) think as well, because it's Scottish English.
    Scots, however, different case and we'd (I think) both not be in agreement on putting it on par with Australian English.

    I've studied dialectology and we've had a large focus on linguistic trends and the linguistic situation of Scotland with its three languages (as is termed in the literature on the topic), Scottish English, Scots & Gaelic.

    As Wiki puts it:

    Focused broad Scots is at one end of a bipolar linguistic continuum, with Scottish Standard English at the other.Consequently, Scots is often regarded as one of the ancient varieties of English, but with its own distinct dialects. Alternatively, Scots is sometimes treated as a distinct Germanic language, in the way Norwegian is closely linked to, yet distinct from, Danish.
    So as a lot of discussions were about this misunderstanding, I felt it was necessary to clear this up so everyone's on the same level about what is being referred to when talking about this, as it was causing a bit of confusion that hopefully now is clarified. What the Ulster-Scots agency has to say about Scots is also similar:

    Scots is part of the West Germanic family of languages. Other West Germanic languages include English, Dutch, Flemish, German, Afrikaans, Frisian and Yiddish. The Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish) are North Germanic languages. The East Germanic languages, including Gothic, one of the earliest Germanic languages, are all now extinct. Scots (and Ulster-Scots) is descended from the Northumbrian dialect of Anglo-Saxon which was brought to the British Isles approximately 1,500 years ago. Modern English is derived from the Mercian dialect of Anglo-Saxon.
    So even here, it's pointing to varieties of Germanic dialects brought over at the same time as other vareities of dialects (that later went on to become English) were brought over, with a split in what formations took hold and geographic distributions. As the bunch of Scotland was Celtic speaking until a few hundred years ago, when English took over it was like a planting of RP forms with different accents, as it was introduced via the schools. That's why Scottish English (and Welsh English, which is spoken alongside Welsh where I am now) don't have any considerable variation, because English is "relatively" new over the last few hundred years (a fact which would surprise many people in the UK who don't really know about linguistic history).
     
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    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Dear all

    Of course "Scots English" does not exist.

    There is Ayrshire Scots, Braidscots, Highland Scots, Fife Scots, Lallands and the best English is famously spoken in Inverness. And then there's the Gaelic.

    Just have a laugh, rather than being all so worried!

    "Tha mi airson Gàidhlig ionnsachadh."

    L
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    It's not flak! It was just a genuine case of never having heard that usage before in English. When people don't use words among each other it is a case of a sort of linguistic transformation into a permanent archaic nature (a fancy way of saying death). It's not like it's a rare word that only pops up every now and again, with a meaning of 'use' I'd expect it to be quite common. I'm all for the Germanic languages and their native wordstock (through knowing Icelandic and starting to learn Swedish) I grow to make all sorts of nice bonds with certain words of a Germanic nature. At the same time I can't deny that Latinate terms do come across as much more scientific and academic. I am also fully aware that it's our collective conditioning that brings these nuances along and has nothing to do with their inherent nature at all. But at the end of the day, many of them go back to the same root anyway and we're just looking at different paths.. 'brook/fruit', 'father/padre', 'fire/pyre' so any social attitudes we attach arise from our culture and our conditioning, which can clearly be attributed to Latin being the language of science and advancement when ...
    I don't know how often you'v seen it as a verb. For me, I can only recall having even heard brook as a verb once ... ONCE ... and that was many years ago. So it's not like it is a great leap for me. If you visit any of the Anglish forums, you'll see it instead of "use". So for me, I'v seen it much more as "use" than as "tolerate". The other choice, that has been put forth, would be to edquicken the OE versions of "note" ...

    notian to enjoy: use, employ, 'note'
    benotian - to use, consume ['benote']

    Then you have the problem of very common use of "note" as "to mark, annotate" (and benote also means to annotate).

    I'v even seen "bebrook" to distinguish it from "brook" which didn't make much sense to me for a few reasons.

    ...English needed so many new words to describe new concepts.
    A common myth. OE had words like tungolcraft for astronomy, leech for physican that were displaced. Dog-leech was found in ME for a vet (many folks say dog-doctor or animal-doctor even today). Many, if not most, of our scientific words came thru Latin but are rooted in Greek. Still, would it have been hard to have earth-lore for geology? Life-lore for biology? Nowadays we see the departments of "life" sciences and "earth" sciences. So it would not have been hard to make words from the English stock. I think it is a crutch to say that we "needed" Latin.

    In 1600, William Gilbert, an Englishman struck the word electricity. He knew about amber. He likely knew the word amber from the French (I don't know if he knew of the Arabic roots of the word). Rather than using the Old English word for amber, stær, to upspring a word, he went to Latin. Amber in Latin is electrum (from Greek, ήλεκτρο (ilektro)) and then made a Latin word electricus ... badda boom! To be fair to him, scientific texts were usually written in Latin, he probably knew the Latin word or had a Latin wordbook. Did he know of the OE word? I can't say. Which highlights the how lowly English was treated. But he could have just as eathly struck the word by Latinizing the OE word for his writ (assuming he knew the word stær).
     
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    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Is there an opposite movement that exaggerates Greco-Latin and Norman-French roots?
    It's called academia.
    That is true :D

    << anyway >>

    Yeah English was treated lowly, but the natural process of things means if you have a whole continent of people communicating in one way via Latin, to standardise and come up with your own official words WITHOUT the support of an Academy that regulated the language, is nigh-on impossible. If you've got all these people on the continent talking about something, and you invent your word, you're naturally going to think in that arena you will use those words, not calque an English translation and go back and demand everyone use that one. A lot of Greek did pass through Latin, but also a lot of Latin that wasn't from Greek. If the Inuits had been the pioneers of science and all those people up there had conferences in igloos about science, our language would be full of that, too. It's not "simply" the case that English was frowned upon. When English isn't the language of science or high-culture, because that language is a lingua franca throughout Europe, not spoken natively, how can you ever expect discussions and more familiarity to be in English and not the language in which all the works of literature are written?

    What you've called a "common myth" about English not having words for new concepts isn't true. What you've quoted are words that were coined based on the concepts and attempted to be introduced into the language. English did have a lack of words and had multiple options on how to resolve the issue, creative native words based on systems of compounding (which it did), or adopt via French/Latin/Greek the various words already out there in the ether that most educated people were familiar with. Like I said, without any sort of regulation it's a very difficult task to get people to not use the words they see everywhere else. I do like your ideals a lot on this issue, but there is a sort of level of blindness that devotion to a cause can lead to, and I think that's at play here.

    It's also by no means a special case. You can't put a high or a low (or, sorry to go Latinate) but prestigious and non-prestigious language together, one with new concepts and ideas detailing innovations in technology and not see this sort of osmosis-like effect of words seeping through. I didn't know about "note" (but is also good to know because I'm pairing up more words I didn't know were used in Older English, (c.f. Ice. 'nota', 'to use').

    I guess what I'd bring to the table in terms of this sort of debate is why is it so necessary to change the past and what has happened? I don't particularly view the past history of events as a bad thing so I don't see why anything needs to be "amended". If English was bullied in the past and seen as quite lowly, then by now that has been reversed a hundredfold/thousandfold by looking at how many of the thousands of languages on this planet now view English as the language that people need to learn and are adopting all sorts of words from us. Yes, a lot might be Latinate words, but as it stands today they can't be considered not English. There are loads of words people won't even recognise as not-native. So English does have its high position now, so I don't see why anything needs to change.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Well, I think I see a basic disagreement between us. You seem to view Scottish-English (Scots) as a separate, foreign tung.
    Scots is a separate language and Scottish-English is a variety of English (or as Scholiast pointer out rather a group of varieties). Scots has its own literary tradition and its own spelling conventions. Actually, linguists don't care about the distinction between language and dialect but since we this is a cultural discussion, the distinction is meaningful.

    You rejected my analogy with German becommen. Why than is Scots for you a variety of English and German not? Scots and English separated about 600 years ago and German and English about 1500 years ago. Where do you draw the line and why? This discussion is about reconnecting to Old English, i.e. English as it was spoken in 1066. At that time Old English and Old Low German (aka Old Saxon) were closer than English and Scots are today. Maybe a little further apart than US and. British English but not much.
     

    Hulalessar

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You simply cannot wind the clock back and expect the millions of English language users all over the worlds, whether native speakers or not, to suddenly decide to abandon the words they know and have been in use for centuries and adopt different ones. It would be like asking them to adopt Punjabi words wholesale. Old English is a foreign language today. Many of the words we have today, apart from having multiple meanings, have subtle overtones that dictionaries cannot explain. New words, wherever they came from, would lack those overtones and multiple meanings. In the unlikely event that such a radical change was forced through - and it would have to be forced through - the literature of the past 500 years would become just as unavailable as Anglo-Saxon literature is today. That ancient literature may become slightly less opaque, but there is not a lot of it around. You would also have the problem of standardisation. Anyone looking at the revival of Cornish or the discussions over what the standards should be for Occitan or Rumansch will see what they are faced with.

    By all means wage a campaign to cut out overuse of Latinate words. But that campaign is already being waged up to a point by plain English movements. The advice that where faced with the choice of two words to use the shorter is essentially advice to go for the non-Latin word and has been around for ages.
     

    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Yeah English was treated lowly, but the natural process of things means if you have a whole continent of people communicating in one way via Latin, to standardise and come up with your own official words WITHOUT the support of an Academy that regulated the language, is nigh-on impossible. If you've got all these people on the continent talking about something, and you invent your word, you're naturally going to think in that arena you will use those words, not calque an English translation and go back and demand everyone use that one.
    Well the Germans did exactly that. They came up with Germanic calques with most of the Latinate terms, even though Latin was still the dominate academic language for them as well.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Well the Germans did exactly that. They came up with Germanic calques with most of the Latinate terms, even though Latin was still the dominate academic language for them as well.
    Not really. Only few of these neologisms survived and most of them were technical terms of Latin-bases neologisms themselves, like Fernsehen for TV (literally far-seeing, far-wathing), others like Fernsprecher (literally far-speaker) for telephone survived only because the term was used by the post office it had a legal monopoly on telecommunication services and equipment; since the lifting of this monopoly, I've never heard this beastly word again.

    When you read 18th century text You'll find only few Latinate loans being reversed. Most of them were short-lived, non-assimilated vogue terms when it was "chique" to use French words as it is "cool" today to use Anglicisms.
     

    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    When you read 18th century text You'll find only few Latinate loans being reversed. Most of them were short-lived, non-assimilated vogue terms when it was "chique" to use French words as it is "cool" today to use Anglicisms.
    My knowledge on German is limited but it seems to me that for most Latinate words there are always German equivalents, some of them archaic but some used more often than the Latinate loanwords. For example Erdkunde for Geologie, Rechtschreibung for Orthographie, Zahnarzt for Dentist. Of course there are obsolete Germanic equivalents such as Gotteswissenschaft for Theologie, but I remark that in most cases Germans have prefered Germanic words instead of importing French words, whereas the English abandonned "tooth-drawer" for the more chic French word "dentist(e)." (which just literally means "toother" btw.)

    '''Dentist figures it now in our newspapers, and may do well enough for a French puffer; but we fancy Rutter is content with being called a tooth-drawer'", Edinburgh Chronicle 15 September 1759, retrieved from Etymonline.
    The Germans, on the other hand, were generally content with their Zahnarzt(tooth-doctor), even though they had the word der Dentist.

    But I don't know if these are actually neologisms that corresponded to the need to translate latinate loanwords or existing words that assumed the role of similar latinate words.

    Just a small remark, we are, of course, speaking about Greek(Greco-French?) loanwords here as well, such as geologie or telephone.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    My knowledge on German is limited but it seems to me that for most Latinate words there are always German equivalents, some of them archaic but some used more often than the Latinate loanwords. For example Erdkunde for Geologie, Rechtschreibung for Orthographie, Zahnarzt for Dentist. Of course there are obsolete Germanic equivalents such as Gotteswissenschaft for Theologie, but I remark that in most cases Germans have prefered Germanic words instead of importing French words, whereas the English abandonned "tooth-drawer" for the more chic French word "dentist(e)." (which just literally means "toother" btw.)
    As I said, except for technical terms (in controlled environments). Erdkunde e.g. is a high-school term. You would never hear or read Erdkunde in university but only Geographie. In ordinary language, Erdkunde is often used in a semi-derogative way, meaning basic geographical knowledge as taught in high school as opposed the "real", scientific geography.

    Orthographie and Rechtschreibung are and have always been both commonly used words. There is no significant trend.

    A dentist has always been called Zahnarzt in German; the term Dentist has never been seriously used (relative frequencies). BTW: In English, a dentist is not an alternative word for tooth-drawer but is a genuinely different profession. A dentist has undergone university training in a medical department possesses license comparable to that of a physician. A tooth-drawer has no medical training. This service had traditionally been provided by barbers in Europe before before a dentist's license became mandatory for anyone offering services of dental surgery.
    Just a small remark, we are, of course, speaking about Greek(Greco-French?) loanwords here as well, such as geologie or telephone.
    Of course.
     

    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    A tooth-drawer has no medical training. This service had traditionally been provided by barbers in Europe before before a dentist's license became mandatory for anyone offering services of dental surgery.
    Well I doubt the French word dentiste has always meant someone with a medical training; it probably meant the same thing as someone who does the simple task of drawing rotten teeth but later came to mean a professional doctor. But I can't find enough etymological information on this matter.

    I don't want to challenge a native speaker on the history of his language, but really, I can think of so many German Latinate calques that I can't really believe that the Germans did not make at least a moderately successful effort in Germanizing Greco-Latin words.

    Zusammenhang(context), übersetzen(translate), Eindruck/Ausdruck(impression/expression), Umstand(circumstance), Gewissen(conscience), überwachen(surveil), entdecken(discover), Einfluß(influx), Einheit(unity), Einfuhr(import), Lehnübersetzung(calque), und so weiter(et cetera).

    Did the English make any of such efforts? They made calques of some Germanic words like loanword(Lehnwort) or superman(Übermensch), but for Latin or Greek words, I sincerely can't think of any, at least among those that survived.

    And then there are German words that have preexisted but assumed the new meanings of foreign words, such as Viertel for quartier(fr. neighborhood), and Geschichte for history(as a modern social science).
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    Scots is a separate language and Scottish-English is a variety of English (or as Scholiast pointer out rather a group of varieties). Scots has its own literary tradition and its own spelling conventions. Actually, linguists don't care about the distinction between language and dialect but since we this is a cultural discussion, the distinction is meaningful.

    You rejected my analogy with German becommen. Why than is Scots for you a variety of English and German not? Scots and English separated about 600 years ago and German and English about 1500 years ago. Where do you draw the line and why? This discussion is about reconnecting to Old English, i.e. English as it was spoken in 1066. At that time Old English and Old Low German (aka Old Saxon) were closer than English and Scots are today. Maybe a little further apart than US and. British English but not much.
    OK, let's try this again. This forum has been eating my posts! ... Sometimes it just eats it and other times it kicks it back for a "security token". Not sure if it is the binding to the net or a browser problem. I'm trying a different browser this time.

    Let's start with the 900-year difference that you posted between the different tungs separating. That alone should be enuff. I'v read very little about Scots but from what I'v read it is an offspring or an offshoot of Old English. Indeed, I would go even further and say that it was been English that as drifted from the OE core due to the Norman seat of power being in England rather than Scottish-Anglo-Saxon that drifted.

    I'v seen this come up on other forums and a lot of seems political to me. Those who want a more free-standing Scotland hype up the differences. I stay out that of that brawl ... I hav ancestors on both sides of the wall (Hadrian's Wall) so I don't have a dog in that fight (indeed, I have ancestors from all over northern Europe along with American Indian). One should note that Americans began doing the same thing after the Revolution ... change spellings and hyping up the differences. Some even called the tung American rather than English.

    Next, "become" is a common and well used verb in English whereas "brook" is not. Most folks know brook as a bubbling stream rather than as a verb. My first thoughts when I saw "ne brook" was that it meant to dam up ... as in stopping the flow of the spring. That may have led to it gaining the meaning to "tolerate". Regardless, it's eath to take a little known verb and its little known meaning and use it as such. I'v seen brook much more as "to use" than as "to tolerate". In fact, personally, I'v only seen as "to tolerate" once that I can even recall.

    Scotland and England have a tangled history. There are Scottish Regiments in the British Army and Scottish members of parliament. So one shouldn't be amazed to find words flowing from one side of the wall to the other. AFAIK, there are no German regiments nor German members of parliament in the UK. ... An aside here, I would expect to see more German words in American English due to the large German immigrant population ... and maybe even more "Scottish" words since there is also a large number of folks of Scottish descent.

    So taking a Scottish word or meaning of a word would be much more common than taking a German word. When I see a word marked "chiefly American" or "chiefly Scots", it doesn't even come into my mind that American or Scots is a separate, distinct tung.

    Now, I'v also read that American English began diverging the moment the first settlers arrived. That would put us about 100 years behind the Scots on your timeline. We also hav different spellings, a literary tradition, and a separate source of new words ... so by your criteria, does that make American English a different tung? Should I refer to as American? (Or maybe North American so as not to exclude the Canadians). If so, then American is truly a Germanic-Romance tung since the blending had alreddy taken place before its founding.

    Is that what we want? Do we want English broken up into separate tungs like Latin? Latin>>>Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian ... English >>>Scots, American, Australian, Indian, asf.
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    @Almrphi,

    While it's on my mind ... there is another OE word for use ... nytt and it's offsprings:

    (y=ü)
    nytlic useful, profitable. [Ger. nützlich]
    fornytlic very useful
    nytlicnes f. utility
    nyt(t)nes f. use, benefit, convenience.
    nytt I. f. use, utility, advantage; duty, office, employment; supervision, care, II. adj. useful, beneficial, helpful, profitable
    nyttian to enjoy, use ['nutte']
    nyttol useful
    nyttung (i) f. profit, advantage

    I don't recall seeing a benyttian which would be like Ger. benutzen but it might be there somewhere.

    <<<Anyway>>> To quote George Orwell:
    To begin with it has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting up of a ‘standard English’ which must never be departed from.
    It's not the scientific words that I find bothersome tho many of those could be s
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Well I doubt the French word dentiste has always meant someone with a medical training; it probably meant the same thing as someone who does the simple task of drawing rotten teeth but later came to mean a professional doctor. But I can't find enough etymological information on this matter.
    The word dentist entered English only in the mid 18th century.

    I don't want to challenge a native speaker on the history of his language, but really, I can think of so many German Latinate calques that I can't really believe that the Germans did not make at least a moderately successful effort in Germanizing Greco-Latin words.

    Zusammenhang(context), übersetzen(translate), Eindruck/Ausdruck(impression/expression), Umstand(circumstance), Gewissen(conscience), überwachen(surveil), entdecken(discover), Einfluß(influx), Einheit(unity), Einfuhr(import), Lehnübersetzung(calque), und so weiter(et cetera).
    Can you tell me which Greek or Latin loan words this words are supposed to have replaces? I am not aware of any. Most are obviously calques but I am not aware of any loans which had actually entered German before and which they should have replaced. The only one I could think of would be "Import" but "Import" and "Einfuhr" have always co-existed since both were introduced (about 300 years ago).

    Did the English make any of such efforts? They made calques of some Germanic words like loanword(Lehnwort) or superman(Übermensch), but for Latin or Greek words, I sincerely can't think of any, at least among those that survived.
    Why should it? Contrary to German, English had all these words already as loans and didn't have to create calques. German has a significant number of Latin loans (some of them so old, people aren't aware that they are of Latin origin, like e.g. Wein = wine) and some of them as recent as the 19th and 20th century. But it never had this vast number of Latin and Romance loans as English has and had to create equivalent words, some of them were created as calques, some as loans.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Let's start with the 900-year difference that you posted between the different tungs separating. That alone should be enuff. I'v read very little about Scots but from what I'v read it is an offspring or an offshoot of Old English. Indeed, I would go even further and say that it was been English that as drifted from the OE core due to the Norman seat of power being in England rather than Scottish-Anglo-Saxon that drifted.
    So why do the 900 additional years matter if the 600 years shouldn't matter, especially if you want to reach back 1000 years to Old English? Where do you draw the line and why? When you define Scots as "English which has drifted off" I could equally say English is nothing else but German having drifted off. Of course I am not saying that, but if I entered the same shaky ground you are walking on, I very well could with exactly the arguments you've been bringing forward. And, BTW, Scots has not split of Old English but off Middle English.

    Now, I'v also read that American English began diverging the moment the first settlers arrived.
    Most authors date the BE/AE split around 1750 though you can find many changes in BE being reflected in AM up to the mid 19th century. This of course apply to standard language and not to dialects. Let's take the most obvious difference: non-rhoticity in BE: In the 18th century, non-rhotic pronunciation is attested in London dialect and as non-standard in BE until the mid 19th century and had therefore never become standard in AE (of course there are non-rhotic dialects in AE but that has nothing to do with the development in BE).
     

    LoboSolo

    Member
    English - US
    Did the English make any of such efforts? They made calques of some Germanic words like loanword (Lehnwort) or superman (Übermensch), but for Latin or Greek words, I sincerely can't think of any, at least among those that survived.
    .
    Many! Many French/Latin words were taken in with minor changes, some without change, others were calqued, or a half/half like "because" ("by cause" modeled on Fr. "par cause"). There are few listed towards the end of this writ: ENGLISH: A FRENCH LANGUAGE By Alexandre Kimenyi

    I spotted a few mistakes but it's mostly right.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    There there is what the Norman-French scribes did to the spelling ('ou' for 'u', changed the 'u' to 'o' before 'n' or 'm', words can't end in a 'v', asf)
    Why should it matter if you can't write 'v' word finally? Old English didn't have a 'v' at all. If you want to revive OE you need to abolish "v" altogether.
    Can you tell me what you have in mind by OE "
    'ou' for 'u'"? If you are thinking of changes like hus becoming house, this has nothing to do with Anglo-French but reflects a sound change within Old English.
    ... 'b' to det and dout, asf), and many more things that truly need to be undone.
    Why? Just give me one reason.
     
    Looking at the arguments on this thread, it occurs to me that I could put up an equally good argument for reverting to the English of pre AD 1945/50. Reading literature from 60 to 100 years ago reveals a much more elegant use of language, often with simpler words, that we use now. Yet many who have been brought up alongside the language of computers, mobile phone texts, hip-hop-speak and sound-bites would protest that there is no need because they have a perfectly good modern language that enables them to communicate. :rolleyes:
     
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