Vocabula motto

Michael Adams MAdams1448 at AOL.COM
Mon Jun 16 21:32:12 UTC 2003

I agree with Ron and quote from that excellent book, "Slayer Slang," on the subject:

from a footnote on p. 117:

Halpern's article [i.e., "The End of Linguistics"], later published in the "American Scholar", appeared originally in "The Vocabula Review," each issue of which opens with the aphorism, "A society is generally as lax as its language."  Could we not say instead, "A society is generally as free as its members are to use language according to their preferences"?  Or we might say, "An animal is as canine as its genus."  In order to believe the original, we must start from the assumption that laxity (or is it laxness?) is a bad thing.  But I suppose that we could be permissive, that we could be generous about one another's language use without society or the language going to the dogs.

Chapter 4 of "Slayer Slang" considers some of Halpern's views in that earlier article at length.

Here endeth the shameless plug.


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