The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

25 Nov 2008


I´m sorry, but I think this quote is so funny that I´ve stolen it from Beatrice Santorini’s site:

The purity of the English language:
The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that the English language is as pure as a crib-house whore. It not only borrows words from other languages; it has on occasion chased other languages down dark alley-ways, clubbed them unconscious and rifled their pockets for new vocabulary.
James Nicoll (b. 1961), "The King's English", rec.arts.sf-lovers, 15 May 1990

1 comment:

  1. What a harsh and striking way of describing lexical borrowing! I’d say that English, as most languages, I suppose, makes foreign words its own as soon as its speakers adopt them in order to name new concepts, expand vocabulary to allow different nuances in meaning, or just to sound more sophisticated or fashionable. I’d like to know what Nicoll had in mind when telling that. Can a parallelism between colonialism and linguistic borrowing be established in that way? Maybe I have not caught the idea. Anyway, a vivid and shocking image.