Wednesday, February 16, 2011

* English is Everyone's Bike

Who the hell does language belong to, anyway?

 "English"  from Harry Graver's YDN article:



 BTW: English is everyone's bike. It can be a prim little black English 3-speed with a wicker basket that wobbles along at legal speeds and stops at traffic lights; it can be a rough and tumble dirt bike with cleated tires that does wheelies and cartwheels, that crashes, and splashes and screeches and jerks to a halt. But it is a BIKE, not a bike MANUAL. So for godssake get on it, grab the handlebars and pedal, and ignore all the folks walking along reading their manuals, shouting directions at you. 
 It's YOURS, not THEIRS.


Posted by The Anti-Yale on February 15, 2011 at 10:20 p.m.  



I have no problem with your analogy, and I believe that those pedants who want to stultify language with their carping should be asked, ever so politely, to place their rule books where the sun shineth not.  However, equally wrong are those who claim they should be able to ride their particular language bikes in all situations, without modification.  In other words, those unwilling to acknowledge that language changes according to circumstance would be akin to someone wanting to enter the Tour de France with a rusty, banana-seated, no-geared piece of yard-sale debris. 

A. Haehnel

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