On Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 4:08 PM, Padraic Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I think that most reasonably well educated English speakers would at least
> be aware that certain words are in some way related to words from other
> languages -- a lot of scientific terminology and the like. That doesn't
> mean they would know what language it's from, or what the ancient roots
> mean or what the words look like in their native element.
In my experience, it's a really common assumption that English comes from
Latin.  In fact, I've met very well educated people who have assumed that
all languages came from Latin.

I think that's evidence that we don't spend much time talking about the
history of the language in schools, and we could perhaps do more.  And it
would also be nice to get rid of some of the stupider popular concepts of
language, such as change being the same as decay, when it's really a
necessary feature of all living languages.  Or the notion that language
"purity" means anything other than preference at best and bigotry at the
worst.  Or the notion that language should be logical -- and that's an old


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