2 Inkhorn ControversyAn 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 rootsNamed for the ink wells used by writers that were made of hornsIn 16th century Latinate borrowings were causing controversy
3 Inkhorn ControversyControversy was extent to which such borrowings were permissiblecontroversy was debate about ways and means by which functional elaboration of the vernacular could be achievedElizabethans were beginning to take greater pride in their mother tongue as an important expression of national identity
4 Inkhorn ControversyWriters and poets no longer agreed with earlier conception of vernacular as an inadequate linguistic mediumWriters wanted to equate English with classical literary languagesThus they borrowed from Latin, French and Italian classicsSometimes 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 ControversyInkhorn 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 technologiesSome terms were unsuccessful but many others gained a permanent place and are still in use
8 Some Failed Inkhorn Terms anacephalize: to recapitulateadnichilate: reduce to nothing, annihilateeximious: excellent, distinguished, eminent.exolete: disused, obsolete; effete, insipid; fadedfatigate: to fatigueillecebrous: alluring, enticing, attractive.ingent: immense, very great.obtestate: to bear witness, call upon as witness
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.