R: Re: Opinions on English
|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.