Thursday, 18 December 2008

The Babble of Chambermaids

A question for English teachers: To what extent do you agree with the following opinion expressed by Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592):

"To hear men talk of metonomies, metaphors, and allegories, and other grammar words, would not one think they signified some rare and exotic form of speaking? And yet they are phrases that come near to the babble of my chambermaid."

In other words: When does the analysis of language switch from being a help to being a hindrance to vigorous self-expression? Is it not possible to have too much grammar?

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