Friday, August 18, 2023

Ahead of the game

Patrick Kurp, in 'We Are So Lucky Having English,' quotes an English poet, John Whitworth:
Shakespeare. Browning. Wallace Stevens. Stevens is surprising. He surprises me, actually. Language, don’t you know. What language can do. We are so lucky having English. We might be stuck with French with a tiny Latinate vocabulary. Or Swedish, a language nobody else knows. English is like Ancient Greek, all the words, all those different ways of saying.... I used to teach English to foreigners and it is hard. We are lucky — English, Aussies, Americans, because it’s not hard for us. We’re ahead of the game.
A German exchange student I once had in class disagreed. I had suggested that English was a difficult language to learn. He thought not.

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