Why do some here wish that English was linguistically pure?
<<<<How about "forebearing" as a calque of preference? >>
Actually, 'forebear' & 'forebearance' would not necessarily be a calque of Latin 'praeferre' because the word existed in Old English as 'foreberan' (to prefer) without any hint of influence from the Latin. It may be IE inherited, or created parallel along a similar line
How would you say "ignoramus" in pure English?
I wonder why the English in particular borrowed latin/french/greeks words for a lot of their high level vocabulary, rather than coining them on native roots or resurrecting ancient forms?
Btw, I'm aware of 1066, but a lot of the borrowing occurred centuries later.
It comes from hundreds of years of oppression and brainwashing from the Norman nobility, teaching the English people to loathe and despise their own heritage.
<<I wonder why the English in particular borrowed latin/french/greeks words for a lot of their high level vocabulary, rather than coining them on native roots or resurrecting ancient forms? >>
Leed ("people") always want what they do not have, and they forever crave to be what they are not. It doesn't intinge ("matter") what it is, or how it is in gaincurr ("endbearing" or "relation") to their strimand hoad (i.e. their "current state"), they will ellist ("desire") it ince ("just") the same.
<<It comes from hundreds of years of oppression and brainwashing from the Norman nobility, teaching the English people to loathe and despise their own heritage. >>
I am quite pleased that the island of Britannia was invaded by the Normans in that most famous of historical dates - 1066. They added their own touch to this country's rich and diverse heritage following all the other invasions in earlier centuries, from the magnificent Romans and all the way through to the other cultures willing to face the hostile climate of these islands - Saxons, Vikings, Jutes, Danes, etc - all mixing in with the Celtics already here.
For such a physically small island nation, as this one is, the cultural and linguistic diversity surviving to this day is pretty amazing. I am proud of it, and the diversity now continues with immigration to such an extent that the brakes must surely be applied now so we can pretty much put up the "Britain is Full - No Vacancies" signs. ;-)
The legacy of the Normans can be seen in some of the place names here - such as that of Beaulieu (Anglicised pronunciation being Bee-oo-lee) a yachting centre village on the Hampshire coast, not far from Southampton.
Also there is Herstmonceux, a beautiful little village, with a magnificent 15th C. castle, in Sussex, close to the village of Battle itself, the site of the 1066 skirmish known as the Battle of Hastings (Hastings being a port and seaside resort on the nearby coast, nestling in between the chalk white cliffs known as the Seven Sisters overlooking the English Channel).
And also the number of places in England, especially, which show a mix of both Norman and Anglo Saxon - Ashby de la Zouch, Stanford le Hope, Clayton le Moors, Poulton le Fylde, among many others. In addition, the preponderance of surnames which many British people have to this day which are French in origin....De Carteret, Le Sueur, Montand and many others, but of course they are not nessarily descendants of the Normans as further French "invasions" occurred in later years, one such being the large number of French Huguenots (French Protestants) seeking refuge here in Britain in order to escape from persecution in nearby 16th/17th C. Catholic France.
I also appreciate the contribution of the Normans in England--they brought Feudalism after all.
But there is a clear disctinction between cultural contribution and liguistic contribution here.
For instance, we have scarcely a dozen words of Celtic extraction in the English language, and there were and *are* many more Celts than Normans.
Yes, we like Normans, but No, we don't have to talk like them.
Is it the "excessiveness" of the French element in English that generates this hostility?
Would it be less pronounced were it had been scaled back and we didn't have *so many* Frenchicisms/Latinates? I do think it's a little out of hand yes.
(Did we eat too much chocolate?--are we to blame for our own malaise?)
<<Is it the "excessiveness" of the French element in English that generates this hostility?>>
I was not even aware of the hostility until I read this thread. Surely such hostility must be limited to a few language enthusiasts. What's the point of the hostility? Do we expect to be liberated from our Norman oppressors? Aren't they already dead? Does anyone expect to be able to reduce our vocabulary?
Chocolate is a word that comes from the Náhuatl -language spoken by the ancient Aztecs from Central México. The original word is "chocolatl". See, not even "chocolate" is an English word. There are many other words that are Náhuatl and that are used in the English language but why bother when some stupid and backward people think languages are or were pure? It'd be a wasteof time making a list of those words.
"I was not even aware of the hostility until I read this thread. Surely such hostility must be limited to a few language enthusiasts. What's the point of the hostility? Do we expect to be liberated from our Norman oppressors? Aren't they already dead? Does anyone expect to be able to reduce our vocabulary? "
History is always a lot murkier and muddier than the traditional simplistic view would have us believe. For example, genetic surveys of the British Isles show that England is still strongly Celtic with some Germanic admixture from the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, which sweeps away the myth of Saxons slaughtering and driving all the original inhabitants into a small corner of the island (i.e. Wales). So any idea of Saxon purity is a falsehood from the start.
They were probably protected by a Celtic guardian.
Actually it's misleading to say Celts, because they were later invaders just like the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans. The majority of the English genepool goes back to the first Neolithic inhabitants.