Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare

A Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare - Jeremy  Butterfield I chuckled, chortled and snorted my way through this entertainingly written book about the English language. I found the use of a large corpus to analyse how people actually use English as opposed to how (possibly other) people think English ought to be used to be interesting and enlightening.

I confess, if I knew enough about it, I would be a ‘grammar Nazi’ and would openly condemn anyone willfully abusing their epicentres and disinterested tautologies. Butterfield disagrees, and sees the language as an ever evolving body that inevitably changes over time (!). The criterion to which I would criticise this view would be the speed of the change in the modern language is much faster than which has previously occurred – with txt-spk being a prime example where language is changing faster than (perhaps) the grammarians would like.

In my view, the pure inventiveness of English is both its virtue and Achilles’ heel. It could go either way – become even more a diverse construction of prose and ideas or degenerate into a kind of newspeak of abbreviated and limited form tht cn b txtd btwn ppl of vy lmtd ideas. Eod. (IMHO).