Friday, 20 March 2009

Languinator

I was talking to The Germans again when the subject of "Heists" came up. I, like many of my associates, assumed the word "Heist" is a German word. Apparently not, it doesn't exist in German. It's not that it means something else, the word simply doesn't exist.

This is just one example of the fact that the German language is derived from English, not the other way round. English people are too eager to accept that the language is an amalgam of French, German, Norse(?) and Latin all left behind by invaders. Actually, there was a long time before Vikings and Normans when England had people and restaurants and roads and bars. Yes these things existed and the English had words for them. All those smelly invaders went to England to steal words, the raping and pillaging was just a cover to make the history books more inviting. And it worked (ha!), the mere notion of being invaded by Normans is just hilarious. A bunch of shorties in flat caps falling down the stairs and shouting "Mr Grimsdale!", it's ridiculous, ludicrous, preposterous.

Ok, what is the German word for Saucer? obviously I'm asking because I already know they don't have one, "undertassen" is just two words stuck together in a cheap Blue Peter fashion. It means "undercup" - it's not even that clever. What's French for Ape? "Singe"? ok, what's French for Monkey? also "Singe". If you want to know the difference between an ape and a monkey, don't ask a Frenchman. There are no Charles Darwins in France. The question I now put to you, my learned friend, is why does the derived language (English) have more words than the source languages (French, German)? Carefull, I already checked, you can combine French and German and you still don't have enough words for a full English lexicon.

Google it, English has the biggest vocabulary and not by a small margin but by a stupendous great hairy monster of a margin.

Don't shout "Latin" at me. There is no actual evidence that anyone ever spoke Latin. The evidence is that Latin is a simplified version of old Italian which traders used to make easy records of transactions. It was only for writing, not conversation, like Pitman's Shorthand. That's why Latin constructs are much simpler than any other European language, like Pitman's Shorthand. The other European languages were written for more creative needs than trade. Latin is older? Timing can explain some differences in language complexity but only with evolution. Evolution doesn't happen over a few hundred years.

Don't get defensive, I'm not saying that French is a paltry, mealy, unrefined, crude language or that German is child's playground of linguistic lego and stickle bricks. But what I am saying is that English is proper language in it's own write, not a hotchpotch of Euro-speak.

And it has a more extensive vocabulary.

And it's better.

And England had the biggest empire. Actually, "England" still has the biggest Empire.

JJ

2 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

Don't forget the Welsh. They have made a big contribution to most things and they language is still alive.

Joliet Jake said...

But hanging by a thread I think. "big contribution"? "most things"? can we be a mite more specific?