"My children are in the service"

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Aug 13 00:48:47 UTC 2001

Lose some, win some. But there are more "distinctions" in the
language now than in Shakespeare's time (what did he call a CD-ROM?,
but, as you suggest, old farts attach emotional value to the ones
lost (uninterested-distinterested is the one always stuck in my face
at parties when I dare to reveal I'm a linguist - might as well go to
your stock club [or have they all disbanded?] and tell  them you're a
liberal), and don't seem to give a whack about the ones gained.


>  >Ooooops! Watch it what you say about us old farts. When I hear
>>"developments in the language," I usually jump for joy rather than
>>"shudder." (I save most of my shuddering for the political scene.)
>I don't defend my shudders.  They *are* involuntary.  Of course I know the
>language belongs to all of us, and many of its developments are a delight
>even  to an old fart like me.  But there are lots of casualties along the
>way, valuable distinctions that get lost, references that are forgotten
>that one must be forgiven for mourning.
>A. Murie

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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