Rhyme of the Day

Various meanderings with a rhyme in there somewhere.

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Normative Grammar
john_j_enright
A philosopher I know put forward an argument that even if it's impossible to stop language from changing, it's worthwhile to try to keep the change-of-pace slow.

Norms need not be eternal, and perhaps
Slow-changing norms can halt the sad collapse
Of storied wisdom into cryptic scraps.

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If the changes we fear be thus irresistible, what remains but to acquiesce with silence, as in the other insurmountable distresses of humanity? it remains that we retard what we cannot repel, that we palliate what we cannot cure. Life may be lengthened by care, though death cannot be ultimately defeated: tongues, like governments, have a natural tendency to degeneration; we have long preserved our constitution, let us make some struggles for our language. Samuel Johnson

Those who wonder if he's right would be well-advised to read C.S. Lewis's Studies In Words, and see the process in action.

What Johnson says is so perfectly Johnson, and so wise.

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