Loose grammar

English doesn’t “borrow” from other languages: it follows them down dark alleys, knocks them over, and goes through their pockets for loose grammar and valuable vocabulary.

Not my thought, but my rephrasing of what James Nicoll wrote:

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.

UPDATE: Ha, oops and oh dear: not my paraphrasing! Terry Pratchett’s! I thought sensed a disturbance in the Force when I posted this.

Explanation: so I have a huge file of copied and pasted snippets that I regularly go through looking for post material when the whim strikes me. In this case, the Pratchett paraphrasing was just some unattributed text followed by the Nicoll quote. I had zero recollection of creating the item, and just assumed that the unattributed part was my own (because I do that kind of thing all the time). So I tinkered with it a wee bit more, called it my own, and hit publish …