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The English Language

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posted on May, 25 2016 @ 05:21 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I wasn't aware of that. It makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 06:46 PM
I am sure many of you will have read Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson which looks at the evolution of the English Language.

It is quite an erudite book, but is also hilarious as he makes it fun and entertaining, an easy read but truly fascinating if you like to find out about the development and vagaries of the English language, full of such useless but fascinating information as this:

sgriob (Gaelic) the itchiness that comes upon the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky


posted on May, 25 2016 @ 06:47 PM
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

I really like the word defenestration.
Its the act of being pushed out of a window.
I think its fantastic that it has a proper, official, actual Name as opposed to just saying "pushed out of a window".
Most people don't know what it means and you end up explaining it so you could've just used the phrase instead.

You do also realise that if there is indeed a Brexit, all European countries will have to revert back to their own languages and stop using English.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 06:56 PM
I use a lot of old words, mostly because i like old words not often in circulation. Mendacious is a fantastic one. Tell someone how mendacious they are, and they may glow with pride, further proving their mendacity. Such is the life of a mendicant, finding happiness in the dimness.

Unctuous is another word I enjoy deploying artistically. Although it does sound a little more like what its implying.

I talk in real life like i type here. With all the metaphors included. Most folks look at me like i am speaking a foreign language. Which is a nice litmus test for the people I really care to interact with anyway. Lateral thinkers tend to be much more invigorating to talk to.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:00 PM
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

Unctuous is such a fabulous word, but I usually employ it in relation to food. And it is glorious when you get those little unctuous globs of cripsy-coated goodness in your otherwise lean meal.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:01 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

or when you can tell your mother in law that her taco's are simply unctuous, and she takes it as a compliment.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:05 PM
The most juggling I do is with the "u". When I discuss something with Americans it's "labor". If I'm talking to other folks it's "labour". Damn. That word got a red line.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:10 PM
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

I'm quite a big fan of words, or more especially their deeper meaning(s), and as an English speaker that is a reason why I love Latin.

As far as teachers, even though I majored in English and write very often, I mostly learned how to analyze language (semantics) in a broader context rather than dissect it (grammar). Most grammar I learned from reading books.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:15 PM
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

That's funny you should mention "words not in circulation" and "mendacity."

The only place I have ever heard that word (and the only reason I know it) is because of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which was quite a time ago. I don't recall hearing it in any other books or any other conversation.


posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:32 PM
I have also always like sagacious.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:37 PM
a reply to: Liquesence

I've run across it, but I don't recall where. It was likely in some of my college or high school reading. Authors of the classics used a much better vocabulary than modern writers.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 08:39 PM
a reply to: nwtrucker

Yeah, I'm aware of that.


I have dozens of book about writing. Looking right now at my Roget's Super Thesaurus!!!

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 08:45 PM
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

I think I still have an old Roget's Thesaurus somewhere, not a super one, just a regular one from many moons ago.

edit on 25-5-2016 by 1984hasarrived because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 09:06 PM
a reply to: Liquesence

i am "well read", but that doesn't mean shakespeare. Well, not entirely.

I picked up Mendicant for the first time as a young man reading Groo comics. Some folks here may remember it, mostly won't. It was by Sergio Arregones, of Mad Magazine fame. And was funny in all the right ways.

Groo was an idiot savant, essentially. A complete moron that was gifted in fighting, and could lay waste to an entire army. Often in haphazard fashion. And typically in response to being called a mendicant.

My best friend and I were nerds, so we shared words like that with each other. We also both were ravenous Douglass Adams fans. Another obscure wordsmith.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 09:14 PM
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

OMG, someone else who knows Groo. My high school ex used to read it, so I have some familiarity with it. Not a lot, but some. Then after I stopped dating him, it's like no one else knew what Groo was.

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 10:02 PM
"Pickle" is the best word in the English language, followed closely by "coconut".

posted on May, 25 2016 @ 11:47 PM
This video talks about the history of the English language and the influences from other languages in a short 10 minute animation:

I find all of the influences to be very interesting.

Why is it that when Latin or French based English words are used, they're called "big words" but German based words are "simple" or "vulgar".





Facilitate/make easier


In Science, Law, Health, and Politics, people judge the usage of French and Latin based words as being more intelligent.

To see what English would be like without any Latin or French influence, check out Anglish ( )

edit on 25-5-2016 by arpgme because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 26 2016 @ 01:20 AM
If we're getting onto favourite words, I would like to nominate "disingenuous".
I think this is mainly because it exploits the little-regarded difference between ingenuous and ingenious.

posted on May, 26 2016 @ 01:37 AM
It is very popular here, to learn another language over the phone that way. A lot of people have to learn, or brush up on their skills in english for business purposes, and there are countless agencies that fix you up with a person you have a call with twice a week or something, to practice conversation with. I have considered doing it myself. But I hate talking on the phone.

I love learning languages, but I think I am not that fascinated with the words themselves. I see them as practical and necessary vehicles for communication of thoughts, and it is the exchange of thoughts which is the truly interesting part.

Like the origins of a word is not interesting to me because in using it now, those origins are not part of the concepts it is carrying from one person to another, so they are irrelevant.

However, I do like to explore the subtle connotations and implied meanings in words (and how they are evolving) because I think those have a HUGE impact upon the way the exchange will happen. Especially in learning french, I found that even if the word you use is literally correct for what you have to say, if it has some subtle associations for them that you didn't know, you can cause a totally unexpected reaction. Or steer your exchange into a path of increasingly severe misunderstanding.

Those implied meanings and associations also give you the biggest hints about the culture- especially the deepest roots of value and meaning that the people all have in common, but some may not even be consciously aware of.

All that said, I just love the sensation of using different sounds with my mouth. Seriously! I will sometimes talk to myself while at home, and use an accent, just enjoying the way my tongue and throat have to do different gymnastics.

I started studying Italian for a while, because I love the sound of it, but didn't keep up with it.

ETA - the word "bibliothèque" used to make me laugh , just because of the way it feels on the tongue . It tickles.

edit on 26-5-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 26 2016 @ 07:32 AM
a reply to: Bluesma

I often speak to myself in accents, and it's fun to practice doing English as a second-language speaker would do it.

I also often ramble on in Spanish to myself and the dogs. Thanks for posting! (I first started learning Spanish when I was a little kid, and kept up with it all the way through college. Then working with Spanish-speakers for many years really honed my skills).

Pronunciation is a big thing with me. And absolutely, the use of a word can change the whole meaning, and syntax can do that as well.

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