There is always that age-old thing about England and America being divided by a common language. You think that because we speak English and you speak English that you’re bound to understand and like everything that we do. And of course you don’t.
The real problem in speech is not precise language. The problem is clear language. The desire is to have the idea clearly communicated to the other person. [But] precise language is not precise in any sense if you deal with the real objects of the world, and is overly pedantic and quite confusing to use it unless there are some special subtleties which have to be carefully distinguished.
Language and identity are so fundamentally intertwined. You peel back all the layers in terms of what we wear and what we eat and all the things that mark us, and in the end, what we have are our words.
A language is something infinitely greater than grammar and philology. It is the poetic testament of the genius of a race and a culture, and the living embodiment of the thoughts and fancies that have moulded them.