Thread: Torture!!
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:34 AM   #19
fidvo
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English has advantages and disadvantages, not surprising given its history.

It began as a Germanic language, specifically a Danish dialect. Then when the Normans conquered England, they infused it with a tremendous Latin influence, specifically a dialect of French. With this juxtaposition of two major Indo-European language groups, not to mention a host of other influences and a culture of pride in expanding the language, what you end up with is a very rich tongue.

It is well suited to prose, poetry, even music. This is because there are always at least two ways of saying anything, and usually quite a few more. So if you write something and don't like the way it sounds, you can always go back and change the words without changing the meaning.

Other languages, such as Spanish or Italian, are more lyrical and thus more suited to poetry and music. But they can't match English in flexibility.

Its greatest strength is, of course, also its greatest weakness. Because it's so rich, it is difficult to master the language, and there are so many subtle nuances and connotations that you have to take great care to not accidentally say something wrong. Even if you communicate your message, you still might end up doing it in such a way that people mistake the tone or style, often leaving you looking like an idiot that can't write. It happens to everybody once in a while, even those of us who have been speaking it all our lives.
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