Old Words in New Orders

“Words, English words, are full of echoes, of memories, of associations-naturally. They have been out and about, on people’s lips, in their houses, in the streets, in the fields, for so many centuries. And that is one of the chief difficulties in writing them today-that they are so stored with meanings, with memories, that they have contracted so many famous marriages.. In the old days, of course, when English was a new language, writers could invent new words and use them. Nowadays it is easy enough to invent new words-they spring to the lips whenever we see a new sight or feel a new sensation-but we cannot use them because the language is old.. Our business is to see what we can do with the English language as it is. How can we combine the old words in new orders so that they survive, so that they create beauty, so that they tell the truth? That is the question.”Virginia Woolf 

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