Why is English important? Because it represents the courage and versatility
of Europe; nothing is impossible in English.
I am an only child. My father was the younger son of one of our oldest
earls; my mother the dowerless daughter of a Scotch peer. Mr. Pelham was
a moderate whig, and gave sumptuous dinners; Lady Frances was a woman of
taste, and particularly fond of diamonds and old china.
Vulgar people know nothing of the necessaries required in good society,
and the credit they give is as short as their pedigree.
-Why is French important? Because it represents centuries of European refinement and civilization; nothing in French is by chance
Plus de deux mois s'écoulèrent avant que des Esseintes pût s'immerger dans le silencieux repos de sa maison de Fontenay; des achats de toute sorte l'obligeaient à déambuler encore dans Paris, à battre la ville d'un bout à l'autre.
Et pourtant à quelles perquisitions n'avait-il pas eu recours, à quelles méditations ne s'était-il point livré, avant que de confier son logement aux tapissiers!
Language is as important to dandyism as fashion, and plays an almost equal role.
The ability to hold a fine conversation, to intrigue, flatter or insult in an elegant manner, and with a little something creative is one of the key elements in being dandy; and as a result, it has rules almost as strict as the rest of the art. conversation has been an essential staple in the world of refinement since antiquity.
The antique world had two languages, Greek and Latin. Greek was an amazingly versatile language with some of the most complex verb stuctures ever invented. It allowed for an incredible range of expression, and was the staple of rhetoric up until deep in the "Dark Ages". Greek however was never a unified tongue, and every polis had its twist such that not until Alexander took the language with him on his world conquest that some standardization was achieved. Still, Greek held an enormous amount of influence in the academic world and was the language of both the New Testament, and the study of Philosophy througout that "anitque" period.
Latin was marriage of Greek and Etruscan, developed by the peoples of Latium around the 7th Century AD. It developed in a more structured manner and was a language first spoken by the educated, and then later spilled onto the street, until finally becoming the language of the Roman Empire. It is mathematical, very phonetic, and assimilates any word it takes into itself.
With the rise of Europe two new languages assumed the roles previously held by Greek and Latin; these were French and English. There are definite similarities between these two languages and their antique counterparts, and how they grew to assume their roles, however the roles are somewhat reversed. French developed over several centuries by the ruling class of the Frankish kingdom, and was designed to reflect the ideals of harmony, beauty, and elegance that the nation sought to embody. French is fairly mathmeatical, and has a clear set of grammar rules, and a standard set of conjugations and auxillaires which allow for beautiful narratives. When it comes to rhetoric and academic authority, French held a mastery for many centuries being , in fact, referred to a Lingua Franca [a
term even used to show Greeks influence in the Mediterranean world],
and was considered the language of diplomacy until about WWII.
English on the other hand is a conglomeration of languages, mostly Low-German, with a pronounced French influence, and was created in fits as the several peoples of the British isles slowly amalgamated into a cohesive nation. These peoples included Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and Danes. English is almost unique in the world of linguistics in the fact the even an Anglophone cannot be certain of a words pronunciation until he as heard a given word pronounced. There are rules, but almost as many exceptions. English, whoever, is the language of business and due to its succinct nature, allows for amazing descriptions, powerful visual imagery, and rapid dialog with minimal structure.
Neither language has any notion of being phonetic, though French follows her rules of pronunciation far more regularly. French also assimilates words into herself, while English adopts them "as is". English on the other hand has almost as strong a verb structure/flexibility as Greek, and a much larger vocabulary having at least two full language groups to draw from: while French has only one.
Why are these two languages so important to civility, and hence dandyism? Because they represent the two most important aspects of Western Society: refinement, and courage. French represents centuries of European
refinement and civilization; nothing in French is by chance. English on the other hand represents the courage and versatility of Europe; nothing is impossible in English. Together these two languages allow Western Society to define itself, criticize itself, and express a myriad of ideas and thoughts- and all with dignity and flair.