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Early Ordinary Language Impulses

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"Disputes about words belong rather to grammarians than philosophers, but philosophers ought not to escape censure when they corrupt a language, by using words in a way which the purity of language will not admit" (Thomas Reid, EIP, I, 11).

(I hear Eliot in this: "to purify the language of the tribe.")

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On November 21st, 2016 11:55 pm (UTC), nightspore commented:
Great quote. But I wonder. Eliot's line was "purify the dialect of the tribe." He's certainly echoing Mallarmé, who wrote about the angel whom the Hydra hears "Donner un sens plus pur aux mots de la tribu."

"Corrupter of words" is Shakespeare, the Fool's vocation in Twelfth Night.

Of course Eliot might have been thinking of all three. Likely to have known Reid (or maybe it's known that he did).

Hey, I met Kevin Mills in Ohio this weekend.
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On November 22nd, 2016 12:43 am (UTC), apolliana replied:
Oh cool! I miss Kevin!

I have no idea if Eliot knew Reid; vaguely knew of the Mallarme (it's been awhile), but not the Shakespeare.

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