Not exactly pertinent to the article, but it's always fun to quote James Nicoll: "We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."
A foolish concept. Other, better words already exist for that: eternal; forever; always, etc.
Perhaps it was the Norman infusion that did it; once having passed into a period in which two distinct vocabularies of different tones and social standing that we could freely choose from, there was no stopping us.
'The space shuttle is only special in that it has rocket boosters that lift it into space; and if we remove those, it's just an airplane that's pretty damn average.'
Sorry if my point is obscured there, but the question is: average in relation to what? The reason most people see English as a 'borrowing' language is often because they're comparing it to the more common romance languages; maybe those are not adequate points of comparison, I don't know.
You seemed at the outset of your response be disagreeing with my (rather vague and general) suggestion that the availability of Norman French vocabulary in the era following the Conquest informed our borrowing tendency, but I don't see this response in any way as being disputative of it. Rather the reverse.
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