[ExI] need a new word/suffix

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 12 05:43:46 UTC 2016

On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 5:28 PM, Tara Maya <tara at taramayastales.com> wrote:

> Well, that’s part of the book’s argument, which is that the process of
> language change is slow, and many variations (mutations, if you will)
> co-exist, often over centuries. The process of one form outperforming
> another to eventually become the dominant variation is slow. To the extent
> that people perceive the changing tide, it’s usually to complain about the
> slovenly speech patterns of the young.
> Writing masks the changes in speech, because the written form changes even
> *more* slowly.
> Tara

I think much of this already in other books on language change, though I'm
not knocking this one.

Also, vocabulary seems to change rapidly, though things like grammar tend
to be more conservative. And, yes, writing tends to be more conservative
than spoken language, though my guess is in recent years that's been
changing both because writing often aspires to speech (though I'm not
saying it should; just a changing taste and perhaps a cyclically changing
one*) and because so many more people are usually various means of writing
-- texting, email, blogging, Twitter, memes -- and the gatekeepers don't
have as much power as before -- no one is going to chide me, I trust, if
I'm a wee loose with my diction, grammar, spelling here.

By the way, a recurring complaint is that things are decaying. I even had
someone on Twitter chide me about the "King's English." (Which King? Since
my interlocutor was a Young Earth Creationist -- and fairly shallow and
ignorant -- I'm guessing King James.) It seemed his view was that English
had gone into decline since the 1600s. And, to be sure, there were folks
complaining back then about this. But to read the complaints one would've
expected English-speakers would by now have been reduced to grunting and
screeching at each other. This maps on to similar pessimistic biases I
believe -- the whole notion things are getting worse and worse, usually
since the complainers youth or some ideal time when everything was perfect
before the rot took hold. (For the aforementioned interlocutor, I get the
feeling that ideal time was the mythical Garden of Eden. He also believed
all languages were ultimately derived from Hebrew -- of course! -- and was
unaware of Hindu or Mesopotamian texts predating the Old Testament/Hebrew


  Sample my Kindle books via:

* Think of how every so often in literature -- e.g., serious fiction,
serious nonfiction, and poetry -- the trend goes from a more classical
style to getting closer to how people speak in everyday life and then back
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