Results of the poll on foreign (French and Latin in particular) influence on the English language

Monday, July 05, 2010

The poll closed yesterday so it's time to post the results for posterity before taking it down. Here it is:

What do you think of the large French / Norman / Latin influence on the English language?

  • It's too bad, because English used to be really similar to other Germanic languages and now is all on its own. - 21 (25%)
  • It's too bad that it stopped halfway. A little more of this influence and English would have been a virtual honorary member of the Romance languages. - 14 (16%)
  • I like English the way it is / it gives it a special character / no problem - 45 (53%)
  • Other - 4 (4%)
Votes: 84

My vote would have been for the first since I do think English has gone a bit too far in its pursuit of loanwords to make use of, and now is in a similar (though not nearly as bad) situation to Turkish before it was reformed. I don't bewail the loss of grammatical gender or Western Germanic word order in English, but if you take a look at this list here it's clear that there are a lot of terms in English that could be much easier for the average person to understand by using an English root instead of a Greek or Latin one. So ideally I would like to see English more or less as it is today, but with a slight sprinkling of Germanisms here and there where appropriate. Especially with words such as overmorrow and ereyesterday, much shorter than the supremely awkward the day after tomorrow and the day before yesterday.

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