Everything has its day. When man gave all things a sex he thought, not that he was plaything, but that he had gained a profound insight: – it was only very late that he confessed to himself what an enormous error this was, and perhaps even now he has not confessed it completely. – In the same way man has ascribed to all that exists a connection with morality and laid an ethical significance on the world's back. One day this will have as much value, and no more, as the belief in the masculinity or femininity of the sun has today.
Words lie in our way! – Wherever primitive mankind set up a word, they believed they had made a discovery. How different the truth is! – they had touched on a problem, and by supposing they had solved it they had created a hindrance to its solution. – Now with every piece of knowledge one has to stumble over dead, petrified words, and one will sooner break a leg than a word.
I'm in the process of reviewing his Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English, and while he makes some good points and provides some valuable information, it's way too wordy and repetitive and his attempt to be down with the young folk by using their hip jive slang is embarrassing.
I suspect that learning a language in order to read literature in its original is a bit of a futile effort
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