Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The importance of language

C S Lewis claimed:

Nothing about a literature can be more essential than the language it uses. A language has its own personality; implies an outlook, reveals a mental activity, and has a resonance, not quite the same as those of any other. Not only the vocabulary - heaven can never mean quite the same as ciel - but the very shape of the syntax is sui generis. (Discarded Image, p6)

A language shapes "the tone and rhythm and the very 'feel' of every sentence" (p7).

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