Daily Archives: May 20, 2011

Has the English language lost its eloquence?

It’s been a busy month. Our daughter prolonged her stay by one week so that we were blessed to have her home for a month this time. It had been almost two years since her last trip home. It was sad having her leave on Tuesday, especially since we don’t know when she will be visiting again.

I am back and forth between my dad’s and my own home, as I talked about in my April 2’11 post. Since my computer was not behaving well – which set me back a bit – a stint at the shop was in order. Unfortunately,  the expected few days turned into a week – part of which I was home and suffering withdrawal with no computer. 😉 (Can anyone relate?) I’m still trying to sort and find things after it was ‘made like new’, but I feel assured it is operating better now.

Since I’m without a computer at Dad’s, I read instead. He has been a fan of Zane Grey for many years, and last week – when I finished the book I had taken with me – I picked up one of the many titles Dad has there. Soon after I began reading it, I realized that my choice for a first Zane Grey book to read may not have been the best. I wasn’t very happy with the rawness, but Grey was a very good writer regardless of the cruel reality in that novel. I was determined to finish the book – which I did – but it is unlikely that I will be reading more of his. Now I can say I read him, though. 🙂

What really fascinated me was the language, the beauty of the words used in 1925 when that book was written – and how some words have changed in usage.  It seems to me that over time our language has degraded – almost to grunts and phrases! What are we? – cave people now?  Do you feel that way at all? If I were to use some of the wording I would like to use in my writing would people think it too strange, antiquated? The English language used to be so refined and eloquent, but now it is getting to be less and less. Why do we have to ‘talk down’ to people? … ‘Don’t put that big word in your story, children won’t understand it’ – well let them ask about it! Don’t they like to learn anymore? *sigh* Or don’t we like to teach them to reach beyond themselves?

Okay, I have to end this post. You can see that I do get stirred up over such things. In fact, I KNOW I’m not the only one because a few weeks ago one of my blogging writer friends wrote a post about what is happening to our language. When I read her post I nodded in agreement, but after reading Zane Grey I realize even more how far and fast we have been falling .. and failing. Our language is broken. Why is it progression seems to always have the side effect of regression in some way?

So, my questions are scattered throughout this rant, but added to those are these:

Do you like to read books with vocabulary that challenges you a little?

Do you like to write stories like that, or do you withhold because of the chance that you’ll be told that you can’t pull it off these days, it won’t sell?