A timeline of the semantic changes of the English word “silly”.
Linda Christensen, “Whose Standard? Teaching Standard English” (via ahhelga)
I think it’s safe to say that for being so concerned about the purity and future of language, prescriptivists and others of that kind have done minimal (if any) research about the history of language…especially when it comes to English.
How could you get so preoccupied about where language is going if you knew anything about how it got here?
It’s true. I’m not a doctor. And yes, I acted. A bit. Well, I recited in pubs. I taught elocution in schools. When the Great War came, all our soldiers were returning to Australia from the front, a lot of them shell-shocked, unable to speak. Somebody said, ‘Lionel, you’re very good at all this speech stuff. Do you think you could possibly help these poor buggers?’ I did muscle therapy, exercises, relaxation, but I knew I had to go deeper. Those poor young blokes cried in fear; no one was listening to them. My job was to give them faith in their own voice and let them know that a friend was listening.- Lionel Logue, The King’s Speech
Precisely why I want to be a speech therapist; couldn’t have said it better myself. You should’ve seen the amount of flailing I did when this scene was going on. Or rather, as I was watching the whole movie. So much love for words and speaking.
Coincidentally, I’m reading about Inuktitut language acquisition studies and the future of Inuktitut in the face of majority languages right now. The Inuit is such a great example of resilience, and I am very much in awe at how they keep thriving with everything in their society intact.