walt whitman: slang in america quotes

Language, be it remember’d, is not an abstract construction of the learn’d, or of dictionary-makers, but is something arising out of the work, needs, ties, joys, affections, tastes, of long generations of humanity, and has its bases broad and low, close to the ground.

Thus the term right means literally only straight. Wrong primarily meant twisted, distorted.Integrity meant oneness. Spirit meant breath, or flame. A supercilious person was one who rais’d his eyebrows. To insult was to leap against. If you influenc’d a man, you but flow’d into him.

http://grammar.about.com/od/classicessays/a/whitmanslang.htm

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