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R: Re: Opinions on English

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 19, 2000, 13:12
All that you've written about English, well, I've heard a lot of people
saying it about Italian. Let's see...

> Must I defend my beautiful language? A french friend of mine once said, > "English sounds like two cats f***ing in a paper sack!" I did not, out of > politeness, reply that French sounds like someone gargling a soufle.
Personally I find the pronounciation American films presents of Italian almost ridiculous. Neither a Sicilian countryman speaks that way anymore. What's more, I'd say that the 70% of the Italian population lives in (Central-)Northern Italy, where the dialect sounds much more like... lemme say't, French or, in some regions (southern Switzerland, the Northern part of the Lake of Como) German- but always Romance.
> Here is why I love English: > > We have a superfluity of vocabulary, guaranteeing there is almost always > at least two choices, often many more, for a single concept.
Here the same.
> We have the power to verb ("verbing weirds language," says Calvin to > Hobbs), as well as the ability to create compound words of particular > aptness. The typical English speaker, of course, believes that if it > isn't in the dictionary it isn't a word (a strange attitude!), but no one > has any doubt that "blood moist," is a horrible adjective describing > slaughter, and "silk tongued" is erotic.
> We have infinite gorgeous registers and subsets of the language to choose > from. We can be scholars, we can be hoodlems, if skilled in the language, > we can swerve from scholar to hoodlem to whore in a matter of hours. > English gives the power to make the speaker.
I think every evolved language has these characteristics. At least in Europe and in the Western countries.
> English sentence structure is flexible and variable, providing numerous > options for each utterance.
Yesterday I've taken a look at which kinds of word orders does Italian allow. HEAR HEAR, I've found it supports EVERY ORDER (but there are rules for the construction of the sentence).
> Finally, the beautiful words of English march across a page like drops of > raining, blending in the mind into a sea of meaning. How gorgeous!
This will happen to you, my dear L1 speaker. I generally can't read a whole page without using my vocabulary at least once. Luca