I love the English language. I find it expressive and adaptable, with a wide range of vocabulary to suit all tastes and pockets. Over the centuries, this Germanic tongue has evolved and grown, incorporating Latin, French, Scandinavian and Celtic words to produce the easily-assimilated yet powerful communication tool we have today.
Despite the many regional variants and dialects, we get along fine most of the time. Let two of my favourite gentleman rappers – Baba Brinkman and Professor Elemental – elucidate:
Incidentally, the word ‘garbage’ predates the New World colonies and has presumably died out in modern British English, rather than being evidence of our linguistic stick-in-the-muddiness. The word would appear to be of French origin. I wonder if it has a similar etymology to garbure, which is a French stew involving savoy cabbage, assorted root vegetables, haricot beans and duck giblets, and by Jove it keeps you warm (albeit mildly explosive) on a cold winter’s day. Try it.
MacMillan Dictionary blog on the whole regional English thingy.
* “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale, Her infinite variety” – W. Shakespeare, from Anthony and Cleopatra. But you knew that.
- Putting English language before literature (guardian.co.uk)
- No, Twitter Isn’t Ruining the English Language (forbes.com)