It took three years to put Shakespeare’s words together, there were a lot of words to be studied and a lot of words to be sorted out, and it proved to be a major project.
Anyone interested in language ends up writing about the sociological issues around it.
As I get older and I get a few more years experience I become more like Dad, you know, King Lear.
Word books traditionally focus on unusual and quirky items. They tend to ignore the words that provide the skeleton of the language, without which it would fall apart, such as ‘and’ and ‘what,’ or words that provide structure to our conversation, such as ‘hello.’
Language has no independent existence apart from the people who use it. It is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end of understanding who you are and what society is like.
Texting has added a new dimension to language use, but its long-term impact is negligible. It is not a disaster.
Spellings are made by people. Dictionaries – eventually – reflect popular choices.
English has been this vacuum cleaner of a language, because of its history meeting up with the Romans and then the Danes, the Vikings and then the French and then the Renaissance with all the Latin and Greek and Hebrew in the background.
A feature of English that makes it different compared with all other languages is its global spread.