Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Saturday, 28 April 2012

The intrusive 'with'

Languages constantly change,
some more rapidly than others.
Demotic Latin gradually evolved
and split up to make new languages
from Romanian and Vlach
to Romansch and Portuguese.

Thus the Latin word for 'ballock'
(as in 'She kicked him in the nuts')
became the word for 'head'
(though not in Romanian or Vlach).

English is changing quite rapidly,
mainly as a result of immigration
to America, which is having a quite
noticeable Prepositional Effect.
Recently there has been the
'intrusive OF' - at its most extreme,
off of.
Now there is the 'intrusive WITH'.

People no longer speak and talk
and speak to and talk to,
but speak with and talk with.
They meet with rather than meet.
The other day I came across
'administered him with drugs'.

Then there's 'tend to'
rather than 'tend' (or 'attend to').

On the other hand, there is
alarming Prepositional Loss.
A long time ago, Americans stopped
writing to friends, and started writing friends.

In the British Isles we still write to.
We still can protest,
and protest against
(because protest is an intransitive verb
that doesn't take an object).
But in America they can only protest,
as in 'protest the policy'
and cannot simply protest
as in 'I'm not a collaborator,'
she protested...


But why protest ?
It matters not a jot
that language changes constantly,
and that 'never' is becoming
the new 'not'.

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