Preface

As you may well have deduced from the name, one of the main focuses of this depository of overly wordy pseudo-intellectual diarrhea will be “the glorious and fascinating bastardisation of the English language” by us unruly plebs, the common1 people. Think of it as an undictionary. An atheosaurus. A guide book of how to do what not to do correctly.

I find the inherent innovation that bubbles away beneath the surface of our global language to be endlessly fascinating, both in the linguistic creativity that is conjured up seemingly from nowhere, and then also in the inevitable repression on evolution that occurs after these words break into the mainstream and for a short time fall into common usage2.

Despite being one of the few modern global languages to lack an overseeing regulatory body to dictate what is and isn’t good English5, the usage, structure and spelling of the language is almost impossibly uniform across the “English speaking world”, with steadfast variations largely limited to national hissyfits about where to place the “e” in metere (The argument being based around British and American variants, both of which still primarily use the Imperial system for measurement, go figure).

What fascinates me most is that there is a tendency for those that occupy the largest position of “influence” over the language (teachers, writers and dictionary folk) to try to enforce an order over the language, and ironically try to quell any evolutions taking place. The people that on one hand sing the praises of Shakespeare and his creative influence on our language are the same people who lament the “death” of our language as they encounter technological jargon, street slang or progressive evolutions such as “alot”.

Most ironically for a language that is so heavily self-regulated, English is not a language that can really be described as having rules. Despite it’s Germanic foundations, the language today has drawn so much influence from other languages that it is often mistaken for a derivative of Latin, from which French, Italian and Spanish all grew. Along with new words, from these languages came new sets of rules in both spelling and grammar, their influences over the language growing exponentially, until what we originally would have called rules in some cases became far outweighed by their exceptions.

Anyway…

Effectively incorrections could be a blog that gives the finger to anyone who tries to put English in a box, and embraces the magic that is a language that can accommodate the words taikonaut (a Chinese-Greek hybrid word) in the same sentence as television (German-Latin), alongside “galore” (Gaelic), “verandah” (Indian), “tycoon” (Japanese), gobsmacked (Gaelic-Dutch), and a never ending plethora of other loanwords, hybridisations and tac-on-isations.6

This being the internet, having now far surpassed even the most steadfast online reader’s attention span by at least three paragraphs, I can fairly safely assume that no one is reading. As such, wank.

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2 thoughts on “Preface

  1. Page notes:
    1. At what point did words like “common” and “average” become derogatory terms?
    2. How often do you hear anyone call something “random” anymore? (see 4) I suspect the use of “Fail” (see 3) as a verb is also headed this way, if it has not already, as I have begun to hear adults using the term, a sure sign that it is on it’s way out.
    3. I’m lazy, look it up yourself.
    4. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2764
    http://www.learnglish.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/english/36244/random-as-noun
    5. If you have just shouted “Oh no you di-ent” at the screen over the usage of the phrase “good English” I have successfully proven my preceding point.

  2. Oops, forgot 6!
    6. The taikonaut was gobsmacked at the tsunami of reporters that swamped him on his verandah after it was announced by the tycoon billionaire on television that he was to be the first privately funded man to walk on the moon. Yes, I know, it’s a stretch.

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