A bittersweet farewell to Frank M. Reid at Bethel AME
You Don't Say

English sturdier than you thought

The Baltimore Sun

Writing at Sentence First Stan Carey looks at some short works by Robert Burchfield the philologist/lexicographer who worked on the Oxford English Dictionary and produced an updated edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage

He concludes by quoting a short passage that you may want to post above your desk as a corrective to the ill-informed crotchets of viewers-with-alarm who imagine that this word, or that usage, or the other shift in grammar signals the decay, degeneracy, and pending demise of English: 

Prolonged study of the English language leaves me with a conviction that nearly all the linguistic tendencies of the present day have been displayed in earlier centuries, and it is self-evident that the language has not bled to death through change. Vulgarity finds its antidote; old crudities become softened with time. Distinctions, both those that are useful and those that are burdensome, flourish and die, reflourish and die again.

Copyright © 2016, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad