I pity people who don’t love English. I am not ashamed of my love affair with the language. Part of the beauty is in the acceptance the English language has for the nuance and culture which other languages can provide. Oh, I will grant you that sometimes it’s gets a little creepy the way the English language has “borrowed” things from so many languages – especially the European languages. Yet, when you approach vocabulary, the English language is quick to adopt a word that allows us [the speakers] to become more precise in our language.
This topic really enticed me to write about it when I was talking about my job recently. I told the person “Yeah, I’ve been pretty frenetic recently” and their first response was “don’t you mean frantic?”
“No, frantic implies something distraught and out-of-control and bad. Frenetic is the same kind of wild energy without the negative connotations.”
These two words, so alike and yet with such different nuance of meaning allow me to communicate more succinctly with educated people. And this is where I struggle with a form of classism – I can’t understand “non-readers.” People who say they never read for fun; only when forced. No articles. No books. Not even comics. How do they live without consuming new words? How do they live without absorbing the new inflections and seeing how our favorite words (or hated words) are evolving in new context?