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Ple-ize, stop!



I write to you on behalf of a dear old friend near death in a shabby linguistic hospital ward for the aged, replaced by a newer, longer, less precise but more scientific sounding, and newer version.

. . . the short words are the best, and the old words, when short, are best of all. — Winston Churchill (Speech on receiving the London Times Literary Award, November 2, 1949, Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches)

Use use, do not utilize utilize.


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I recently have seen, "we have the capability to...". The writer/speaker was trying to increase word count, or just not thinking of, "we're able to..." or better yet, "we can...".

Do be sure that when you write that you formerly did something, you write it as, "used to (something)" instead of "use to," or your editor will have to chase you with a wet noodle...probably because they no longer make bottles of liquid paper / white out.

Churchill was also known for writing, "this is the sort of thing, up with which I will not put," regarding an editor's change for certain uses of a verb and preposition ending a sentence. (In grammar, those would be "fixed expressions.") Churchill was, by the way, sensible about that.

I've practically given up on "whom".

Don't get an editor started. It's worse than a frustrated English teacher. ;) :lol:

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Poop. English is rich, curmudgeonly and very old. Maybe he will pay for your friend to be moved to a nicer ward where they use txt spk. There, his brain can atrophy to a soup of future wds. k? peachy. C u 8 r. :p

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I am currently corresponding with a teenager who lives in South Africa. He seems to know English, though I'm not sure. What he uses when he writes me is a new language for me, though I'm pretty sure teens here could understand it better than I do.

He uses some sort of cellphone text speak. Abbreviates words and phrases, writes phonetically, doesn't bother with capitals, and I think I could decipher whatever language is spoken there--Africaans, Zulu, Sotho?--better than I can this.

But the two of us seem to get along. It teaches me patience, and that language's main purpose it to convey meaning, not to show how smart we are by using arcane and esoteric words.


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It teaches me patience, and that language's main purpose it to convey meaning, not to show how smart we are by using arcane and esoteric words.

Sure. You can get by with a very small vocabulary. But eventually, once the arcane and esoteric nuances and its diversity and richness has been forgotten, the language will die from boredom. Then where's the fun?

Perhaps, Cole, you should do a Henry Higgins (Pygmailion) and teach your South African friend the beauty of English. Or not. Gawd 'elp us if, in response, you have to learn txt spk.

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