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Inkhorn Controversy. Inkhorn Controversy An inkhorn term is a term borrowed from a foreign source into English that is considered pretentious or unnecessary;

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Presentation on theme: "Inkhorn Controversy. Inkhorn Controversy An inkhorn term is a term borrowed from a foreign source into English that is considered pretentious or unnecessary;"— Presentation transcript:

1 Inkhorn Controversy

2 Inkhorn Controversy An inkhorn term is a term borrowed from a foreign source into English that is considered pretentious or unnecessary; they may also be created from existing word roots Named for the ink wells used by writers that were made of horns In 16 th century Latinate borrowings were causing controversy

3 Inkhorn Controversy Controversy was extent to which such borrowings were permissible controversy was debate about ways and means by which functional elaboration of the vernacular could be achieved Elizabethans were beginning to take greater pride in their mother tongue as an important expression of national identity

4 Inkhorn Controversy Writers and poets no longer agreed with earlier conception of vernacular as an inadequate linguistic medium Writers wanted to equate English with classical literary languages Thus they borrowed from Latin, French and Italian classics Sometimes the result was indecipherable

5 Inkhorn Controversy “To the armypotent Prynce and valyent lorde Thomas Duke of Northfolke. Andrewe Boorde of physycke doctor: dothe surrender humyle commendacyon with immortal thankes…The whiche did know, not only your complexcion and infyrmite, but also... the imbecyllyte and strength of your body, with other qualytes expedyent & necessary to be knowen: but brefely to conclude, [for] your recuperating or recoueryng your health.... I was convocated to be in the presence of his majesty.” A. Boorde’s Dyetary (1542-7)

6 Inkhorn Controversy “I am of this opinion that our own tung should be written cleane and pure, unmixt and unmangeled with borowing of other tunges; wherein if we take not heed by tiim, ever borowing and never paying, she shall be fain to keep her house as bankrupt.” Sir John Cheke ( )

7 Inkhorn Controversy Inkhorn terms came into being because writers were experimenting with the language, importing and inventing terms to meet their needs, especially because of need for terms to describe new technologies Some terms were unsuccessful but many others gained a permanent place and are still in use

8 Some Failed Inkhorn Terms anacephalize: to recapitulate adnichilate: reduce to nothing, annihilate eximious: excellent, distinguished, eminent. exolete: disused, obsolete; effete, insipid; faded fatigate: to fatigue illecebrous: alluring, enticing, attractive. ingent: immense, very great. obtestate: to bear witness, call upon as witness


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