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Robert Burchfield Quotes
Brief author info: Robert Burchfield (1923-2004) New Zealand-born English scholar and lexicographer.
Showing: 1 - 9 Robert Burchfield Quotes of 9
Computer users soon learn that the miraculous powers of personal computers are based on avoidance of error.
Lexicography is a chastening as well as an illuminating and fascinating art.
Computer-users soon learn that the miraculous powers of personal computers are based on avoidance of error.
I believe it is imperative to see modern English grammar as a rich and diverse linguistic system deposited on our [England's] shores 1,500 years ago, and left with us unweakened, though substantially changed by the social and political events of the intervening period.
I am sure that the two main forms of English, American English and British English, separated geographically from the beginning and severed politically since 1776, are continuing to move apart, and that existing elements of linguistic dissimilarity between them will intensify as time goes on, notwithstanding the power of the cinema, TV, Time Magazine, and other two-way gluing and fuelling devices.
In 1776, at the point of severance, except for an infusion of words from east coast Indian languages, the English language of North America was not in any radical way dissimilar from that of what the American settlers called the mother country.
The language of Doctor Johnson and Mrs Hester Lynch Thrale, and that of their adult contemporaries, was the stately language of the time, polished, stylish, unordinary, even in the intimate pages of their diaries, and the regime of instruction was severe and practical.
At all periods of the [English] language it is difficult to assign a beginning date to most new words and meanings. They tend to slip into the language silently, and are placed in date order only when scholars subsequently get to work.
Vulgarity finds its antidote; old crudities become softened with time. Distinctions, both those that are useful and those that are burdensome, flourish and die, reflourish and die again.
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