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On Thu, 10 Sep 1998, James Chandler wrote:
(quoting Jesperson, I assume)
 
> In reading many books on the history of language one gets the impression
> that the history of languages is nothing but a purposeless fluttering
> hither and thither.  I tried, and shall again in this treatise try to show
> that a great many changes manifest a purpose, conscious or unconscious, to
> better existing conditions, and that some changes, though apparently
> detrimental, may, if summed up, in the long run prove beneficial and make
> for progress.  People have sometimes blundered into improving their
> mother-tongue.
 
J also remarked that Elizabethan English was more analytical
in its use of "do/did/will" in preference to inflected forms.
Modern English has moved back somewhat toward inflection.
So language does drift aimlessly at times, though I agree
it can "progress", or regress:
 
Now, I think, lowbrow mass-media entertainment and advertising
have injected so many idiosyncratic/idiomatic phrases into
common speech, that the disadvantages of analytic languages
become more apparent. Idiom seems to be the essence of colorful
"marked" speech, and the enemy of regular derivation. I see a
similar result in written French, idiomatic prepositional phrases.
 
A colorless, regular, simple, boring IAL would be such
a relief, whether agglutinative or isolating in type.
(Lawyers politicians marketers etc might hate it.)