[quote author=bingley link=board=3;threadid=267;start=60#1949 date=1059106232]<br /><br />We're not sloppy at all (well all right some people are, but no doubt the average Tomus, Ricardus, et Haroldus used language that made Cicero cringe). Just because Latin needs to say lingua latina loquor, doesn't mean English has to say I speak the English language. Unfortunately, the grammar we use to talk about English was originally used for Latin -- a completely different language. Just as our spelling is a terrible mess partly because we use an alphabet designed for Latin rather than one designed for English, which has a lot more sounds (about 40 I think), so grammar lessons are difficult because we're using a tool designed to do something else. [/rant]<br />[/quote]<br /><br />You're correct - we don't **have** to say "I speak the English language" to be correct these days. But nevertheless, it's what we mean when we say "I speak English"!
<br /><br />A large part of the difficulty with the Spelling of English also stems from the Invention of the Dictionary, which standardized spelling, at a time when a lot of those extraneous sounds in so many words were still being pronounced - eg: "Daughter" didn't then sound like "dotter", but more like the result of a collision between "docter" and "dogger"..........<br /><br />I suppose I should de-generalize the comment on "sloppy" - though I did get a kick out of "Tomus, Richardus et Haroldus", and you're probably right about Cicero cringing - by saying that what we're speaking now would have been considered incredibly sloppy, so far as grammar goes, 200 years ago, and our pronounciation completely alien. That's what makes English a living language - not only does it keep swallowing up other languages' words whole, like some linguistic black whole, but it keeps changing its own grammar and accepted rules of word usage and pronounciation even over ten-year spans. It also has developed its own little occupational sub-dialogs.... (which I would have had to spell "dialogues" not long ago....) It's truly amazing to watch it (so to speak...) morph before your eyes (ears?) even while you watch it change in ways you may wish it had avoided. Or, anyway, I find it so................ But as observed before, I'm a little weird myself.......<br /><br />Kilmeny