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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.

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