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Worlds adopted from Greek and Latin since the Renaissance have greatly enriched English...

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aimen | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) Honors

Posted June 20, 2010 at 4:46 PM via web

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Worlds adopted from Greek and Latin since the Renaissance have greatly enriched English vocabulary and especially increased the number of its  [cont]

synonyms,but this influence from the classical languages may be regarded as something between a help and a hindrance comment?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 20, 2010 at 8:49 PM (Answer #1)

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I'm assuming the question here is: Has the Greek and Latin influence on English been more of a help or a hindrance?

The fact that English stems largely from Greek and Latin roots cannot be looked at as a "hindrance" to our language.  That, to me, is like saying, "The fact that I have German ancestors has been a hindrance to my existence."  I think you need to look at this from a historical perspective - much of English vocabulary stems from two languages that came before it.  These two languages have provided us with more words to express ourselves - that is a help to me.

Now, if you are looking at learning English as a second language, then certainly more vocabulary makes learning the language harder.  But for those of us who are in the business of using a language to its fullest potential as a means of expression, I say, give me more words to choose from!

One other comment on the hindrance side would be this: Latin is no longer spoken - anywhere.  Again, I can see where this might make learning our language more difficult.

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