Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Language Quotes at

I can remember the lush spring excitement of language in childhood. Sitting in church, rolling it around my mouth like marbles--tabernacle and pharisee and parable, trespass and Babylon and covenant. Author: Penelope Lively

To God I speak Spanish, to women Italian, to men French, and to my horse--German.
Author: Jason Chamberlain Source: inaugural address at University of Vermont, 1811

Pedantry consists in the use of words unsuitable to the time, place, and company.
Author: Samuel Taylor Coleridge Source: Biographia Literaria (ch. X)

To have another language is to possess a second soul.
Author: Charlemagne

More delicious language sayings at and see my own collection at left lower down on this page.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What makes etymology an interesting subject?

LIBERMAN: "Everything in our world leaves a trace in language. If you know the history of language and understand the main forces that make language change, you have one of the most important windows into the growth of the human mind, civilization, and even politics. Take any word, from guitar to democracy. While studying their development, we inevitably learn a good deal about music and the rise of social institutions. And only the history of language is able to reveal the history of thought, for, unfortunately, an examination of the gray matter in our heads is not sufficient for that purpose. Let me repeat: there is nothing in the man-made world that is not reflected in language.".

The Hidden History of Words is just one entry on the fascinating University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts Discoveries blog. An intellectual labyrinth to get delightfully lost in. The College offers studies in many languages and cultures, including Asian, African, American Indian, European, linguistics, anthropology and more. See departments and majors, Research Languages & Literatures or Language instruction. You can even hear Prof. Liberman on public radio Word origins with Anatoly Liberman - the Minnesotan equivalent of Australia's Roly Sussex.