Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reply to English Speaking Tips from Renowned Scientist

Good evening to all the Disencouraged,

A gifted wordsmith has forged a witty reply to my original post (10/5/08) using his best hammer and anvil which he bought at Walmart who put hard working Americans out of business in the name of laissez-faire capitalism and causing rampant loss of....but I digress. (Sorry Ms. Rand!)
He works for peanuts (even though he spent $140,000 and 8 years of his life getting a BullShit, MoreShit and a Piled Higher and Deeper) at a large drug producing behemoth and in his spare time likes to pick apart my arguments. His main point is that language is dynamic, not static and flows like water (if you're a Taoist - if you're not, it flows like a canal that needs dredging) so people should be allowed to say "aint" and "I funna get crunk later holmes!"
I like to give unequal time to opposing viewpoints so I give you his reply to my diatribe on the evils of speaking the King's (not Elvis) English flippantly. In closing, the Mr. Pink font is....yeah not an accident.

I find your animadversion of our present vernacular to be quite illuminating however validated in a myopic and imprudent temper.

As I'm sure you, in your infinite wisdom, know that language is a dynamic entity ruled by various shaping influences which lend to language subtle nuances which become manifest in turns of idiomatic phrase, vernacular of the hoi polloi as differs from that of the bourgeoisie, colloquialisms, slang (Urban Dictionary), etc. In this fecund garden of the tongue we find the scarce fruit of many a permutation: that which has come to fruition is the culmination of plethoric pruning from the supple branch of speech.

For example, consider the hollow and rotting trunk of that once prodigious language whose aurelian flame has long since been extinguished (Alas! Luceo non Uro!), but whose progeny flourish and thrive. Could not Latin be saved? No. It simply became engulfed by the tide of mutability, to be seen in shadows but live nevermore.

Moreover, take into account the geographic influence on language; as a grain of salt dissolving in a swimming pool so too does language dilute proportionally to the distance from its origin of inception.

A second retort to your sardonic editorial regards an exceedingly interesting footnote to your ask vs. aks (axe) entry. Given the aforementioned condition that language is a malleable organism, it sometimes comes to pass that the continuum of change inevitably causes reversion. Does not the water in a swiftly moving river occasionally eddy back on itself causing little whirlpools amidst the pervasively puissant current? Aye, here’s the rub: approximately 500 to 800 years ago the correct English for “ask” was indeed “axe (aks)!”

See for yourself:


Language is indeed a fickle mistress. Who knows but that in a few hundred years the phrase “cynical Greek prick” may be a term of endearment.

One can only hope.

P. Adam Lukey IV, Esq.

No comments: