Monday, September 3, 2007

Cool Quotes #11: The Decline of English

There seems to have been in every period in the past, as there is now, a distinct apprehension in the minds of very many worthy persons that the English tongue is always in the condition approaching collapse and that arduous efforts must be put forth persistently to save it from destruction.
--Thomas R. Lounsbury, grammarian (1908).

5 comments:

highlyeccentric said...

and it hasn't died yet, has it?

although, if you ask me, it was all a downhill slide after 1066. No point worrying about the destruction of English in the third millenium, all the good bits were lost in the first half of the second.

King Alfred said...

Indeed, Tolkien would agree with you.

Dr. Richard Scott Nokes said...

Yuck! What an ugly quote! Perhaps the icky Latinate construction and horrific passive voice Lounsbury uses there is meant to be performance art? Is he offering an example of collapsing English?

King Alfred said...

Wow, good point. I'm so glad we don't do that now. English must be in a stylistic upswing. ;-)

Cool Quotes said...

Good stuff. Thanks for sharing. There has to be a certain vigilance and also room for adaption. I mean, look at French. That language really hasn't evolved and does not have the same room for expression.