The hotdog.

The most baffling of all meat products

Lord knows what it's composed of. Probably the biproducts of about a zillion other animals. It's the trash of everything thrown together to form something that tastes pretty damn good.

The English Language can be paralleled to the hot dog. Like the hot dog, English is the result of thousands of other languages that are either dead or living melded together to form a language. Words in English come from German, French, Latin, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Greek, and even Sanskrit. Words in our language have been derived from plays and other works. Grammatical rules derive from just as many languages.

So eat a hot dog, and eat english!

English is also highly derived from Latin, though it completely abandons the simple, logical grammar rules associated with that dead language. Any geeky Latin student can tell you that a large part of learning the language is finding out the derivative words associated with all of the new vocabulary. IIRC, the completely baseless statistic I heard from my teacher was that somewhere around 60% of English words were Latin derivatives, which makes quite a bit of sense considering that almost every Latin word one learns has an English derivative. It certainly makes the Vocab section in the SATs easier, from what I've heard.

Yes, English, the sausage of languages
the buffet of other syntax
the goulash, the gumbo, the gazpacho
a literary cheap diner hash.
It pulls from all parts of the world
steals nouns and phrases and verbs
and since it moved to the states of america,
English borrows more than it serves.
This blending of various continents
this bastard of ethnic design
my favorite cheap communication
a stew that is sleazy, sublime

You say that you don't like hot dogs?
Maybe you don't relish a good conversation.

English is a Germanic language, as opposed to the Latin-based Romance Languages like Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, etc. If you look at modern English and compare it to any of the Scandinavian languages you will see many similarities. The reason English has Latin roots as well is because of French influence: in 1066 A.D. the French defeated the British at the Battle of Hastings. The British are still pissed about that one.

After the Battle of Hastings, the French became the elite ruling class in Britain. Of course common people idolize what they see in high society, so french culture became the new standard for the masses to mimic. This permanently entrenched french culture in Britain.

Many English words come from Latin via French, but thanks to the melting pot nature of America, many more words were added from all different cultures. Anyway, because of the French, there are two ways to say nearly everything in English, a latin-based word and an old-german based word. (example: Drink==German, Imbibe==Latin)

**A note about Greek word origins: during the time of the expansion of the Roman Empire the Romans conquered Greece. The Romans, however, were not your average pillagers, and instead of wiping out Greek culture and replacing it with their own, they saw the brilliance of Greek thinking, innovation, and advancement. The ancient Greeks were very scholarly, having already done much research into the sciences and making many discoveries, as well as the profound Greek philosphers and artists. Romans hailed Greek culture, and brought it back to Rome. This is why you'll see much Greek influence in later Roman architecture, and why nearly all of our scientific words have Greek origins.

kkirk007 makes an excellent point about high class and low class words in English. The stigma given to the Germanic words remains with us today. For example: Why is shit considered crude while defecate is the biological term? Simple: the former is Germanic, the latter Latin. It's centuries-old racism attempting to plaster a sheen of importance onto something with a bunch of extra syllables. Throw off the shackles of misplaced elitism! Swear, my friends! Repeatedly and at high volume! Do it for the good of the mother tongue! Here endeth the lesson.

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