Words Are Obviously an Essential Form of Communication

(words exist in all sizes and degrees of difficulty from numerous languages and English continues to churn out new words from the past and the present)

English incorporates many words from everywhere and from everyone; however, that’s not all there is to it. Once a foreign word is swallowed, digested, and accepted into everyday speech, it becomes English!

The two words “information” and “communication” are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.

—Sydney J. Harris

Words come in all sizes and degrees of difficulty from numerous languages past and present

  • Communication can not be achieved without words except for a few superficial methods; such as, a twitch, a wink, a nudge, a kiss, a hug, a caress, or with some kind of physical violence.
  • Real communication, creative communication, communication that can sustain and uplift and inspire, is only possible with words.
  • The richest of the world's languages, which number over two thousand, is English in its various modes of expression.
  • The English language is rich because it is not pure.

  • It is a vast linguistic ocean that has received global contributions from just about every language.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson (U.S. essayist, lecturer, and poet; 1803-1882) described English as, "the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven."
  • It has taken just about two thousand years to evolve.
  • Over the centuries, major contributions came from the Celts, Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Greeks, Romans, Danes, Normans, Dutch, Germans, Spaniards, Arabs, and the French.
  • Classical Latin and Greek have made significant contributions to English and other modern languages

  • The main additions to vocabulary during the early Modern English period are learned words from Latin and Greek, frequently called "inkhorn terms" because of their bookish character.
  • Some were introduced in a conscious effort to increase the resources of the English language; others originated in affectation or were often meant to impress others.
  • Many proved to be superfluous and have since fallen into disuse.
  • Classical languages have continued to influence English and other languages

  • During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the English language has continued to be hospitable to foreign words.
  • The blossoming of all the sciences has kept the classical languages alive as formative elements in English, and the international nature of the scientific community facilitates the adoption of technical terms from European and non-European languages.
  • That the ancient languages of Greek and Latin have significantly influenced the vocabulary and grammatical structure of English has long been recognized in learned circles.
  • For this reason, serious students of language and those whose professional fields require an in-depth understanding of a very sophisticated and technical vocabulary have for many generations devoted a portion of their academic program, either in secondary school or at the college or university level, to the study of these classical languages in the traditional manner.
  • The results of their efforts on the whole have been easy to predict.
  • The study of Latin as a language or the study of Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes have easily received the highest verbal scores in standardized national tests over other groups of students studying a modern foreign language or no foreign language at all.
  • Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes continue to form new words for modern languages

  • With the realization in recent years that too many of today's most gifted students for various reasons have not enrolled in traditional Latin or Greek courses, special efforts have often been made in academic circles to introduce them; at least, to a concentrated study of important Greek and Latin roots and affixes commonly found in English vocabulary.
  • In addition, it is necessary to set forth for their benefit the basic principles upon which new words are coined annually even to this day from these ancient languages.
—Compiled primarily from information located in
In Praise of English, The Growth and Use of Language
by Joseph T. Shipley; Times Books; New York; 1977, pages 53 to 73.