Métaphore linguistique du jour

Kory Stamper, Word by Word, 2017, couverture

Découverte de cette phrase de Kory Stamper, tirée de Word by Word. The Secret Life of Dictionaries (New York, Pantheon, 2017, 320 p.), dans un tweet de John Overholt :

We think of English as a fortress to be defended, but a better analogy is to think of English as a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don’t want it to go : it heads right for the goddamned electrical sockets. We dress it in fancy clothes and tell it to behave, and it comes home with its underwear on its head and wearing someone else’s socks. As English grows, it lives its own life, and this is right and healthy. Sometimes English does exactly what we think­ it should; sometimes it goes places we don’t like and thrives there in spite of all our worrying. We can tell it to clean itself up and act more like Latin; we can throw tantrums and start learning French instead. But we will never really be the boss of it. And that’s why it flourishes.

L’anglais n’est pas une forteresse à défendre, mais un enfant avec son indépendance vis-à-vis de ses parents, quoi que ceux-ci veuillent lui imposer. On pourrait évidemment dire la même chose de toutes les autres langues, y compris le français.

CC BY-NC 4.0 Cette œuvre est sous Licence Creative Commons Internationale Attribution-Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale 4.0.

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