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22282Re: [mythsoc] Re: language change

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  • Larry Swain
    Apr 28, 2011
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      On Thu, 28 Apr 2011 12:20 -0700, "John Rateliff"
      <sacnoth@...> wrote:

      >>One further thought I find it amusing is that some grammarians
      try to 'correct' people who say "from whence", arguing that the
      proper usage is just "whence". They fail to take into account
      that "whence" has pretty much dropped out of spoken English,
      except in the literary tag ("from whence you came") David
      mentions. So their 'correction' would, if adopted, mean the
      word's disappearance from usage altogether.<<

      Even more amusing is that "from whence" is attested in major writers
      from the 14th century onward, including in Langland, Malory,
      Shakespeare, the King James, Dryden, Dickens, Robert Stevenson, etc.
      There are also uses such as "of whence" and "whence-from." I think it
      difficult for hyper-correcting grammarians to maintain that Shakespeare
      and Dickens and co. got it wrong. About the only thing that can be said
      is that it is *redundant* to say "from whence" or "of whence", but then
      language is full of useful, perfectly grammatical redundancies. So I'm
      amused by grammarians who correct a perfectly grammatical and
      well-attested usage.

      Larry Swain

      http://www.fastmail.fm - Accessible with your email software
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