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August 15, 2008

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My neighborhood scores an 85. My old apartment six blocks south gets a 97. Now, how many other people reading this blog live in an 85 and find a 97 with another nearby address they enter?

@Orange: Probably lots of folks in Manhattan. Parts of San Francisco, too.

Anyway, mazel tov! I heard from someone in the deep burbs (nameless to protect the guilty) who scored an 8.

The fact that German can sound funny to the ears of English speakers despite the heavily Germanic foundations of English (the Angles and the Saxons who brought Old English--Angle-ish--to Britain were Germanic) sheds light on why our language is so flexible (and argument-inducing). In this regard, let me turn the lecturn over to the late Robert Claiborne from his Our Marvelous Native Tongue:

"Around 1450, a somewhat batty bishop, one Reginald Pecock, proposed to 'purify' English of its Latin and Latinate elements, even as his modern counterparts in other lands seek to purify their own tongues of English infiltrations. Instead of 'impenetrable,' he proposed the Old English-style compound 'ungothroughsome'; another suggestion was the monstrous 'not-to-be-thought-upon-able.' . . . Pecock's eccentric proposals were swept away on a tide of laughter. French and Latin words were so embedded in the English vocabulary that extracting them was not merely 'not-to-be-thought-upon-able' but downright impossible--a borrowed word used since 1300."

(And on another note, my humble thank-you for your very kind words.)

@Bill: Thanks--that was unputdownable!

Ouch. I think I live not too far from you; we're on the south side of Joaquin Miller park. Our score is an abysmal 35 (ranking = Car-Dependent). When my car-less nephew lived with us the summer after he graduated from college, he found out just how tough it is to do anything without wheels.

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