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An accidental post

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 3:43
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Sometime when engaged in other social media, I accidentally write a blogpost and wish I had expended the effort here instead. That is what happened on Facebook here, in response to a question from my Facebook friend David Barnet about the differences (if any) between “meet”, “meet with” and “meet up with”. For those of you with principled objections to Facebook (and I know you are out there) here is what I wrote.

The English language is a living rebuke to authoritarians everywhere. It is a complex system (the biggest language ever, with more than a million words) which has evolved socially with no central authority. There is no “English Academy” to rival the “Academie Francaise” and there is no damned need of one. The only sanction for misuse is the setting of teeth on edge and eventually, if a neologism doesn’t set too many of them so, it becomes an accepted part of the language. The English language is the linguistic equivalent of the English Common Law and is almost as great a gift to the world. Like Shakespeare (the greatest setter of teeth on edge in its history) it is not of one place but for all the world, it is not of one age but for all time.

Please, as examiners used, irritatingly, to say – “discuss”. 


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