“We open our mouths and out flow words whose ancestries we do not even know. We are walking lexicons. In a single sentence of idle chatter we preserve Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse: we carry a museum inside our heads, each day we commemorate peoples of whom we have never heard. Penelope Lively, an English fiction writer.


  • “Vanish into thin air” …
  • “There’s a method to my madness” …
  • “Wild-goose chase” …
  • “The green eyed-monster” …
  • “Break the ice” …
  • “Wear my heart upon my sleeve” …
  • “Swagger”


So the ballplayer, Fernando Tatis has swagger. One thing ingratiating about him is that he, occasionally, wears his heart on his sleeve. Shakespeare’s English was the first of Modern English and look at how much it has changed. Walketh not upon early Modern English unless you want to be misunderstood even worse than you are now.

Ah, the museum of which Ms. Lively speaks. Before Shakespeare, the Norman conquest of the 11th Century brought lots of French into the English language. Long before that the Mesopotamians had the first cuneiform written language, an advancement beyond the pictograms of earlier times. (,to%20its%20earliest%20prehistoric%20origin.)

That written language provided for the kind of written record needed for government/civilization through to our present era. It sure helps.

Language is really fascinating stuff, even to the point of noting regional dialects all over the world in the same language, changing over time. Language is a wonderful, wonderful tool for those who find much peace in the writing process. Hope that’s your writing experience and it’s not a “green eyed monster.”

2 thoughts on “Language

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