The rule always succeeds the word

The right word gives thought a sense of harmony, the mathematical inevitability of music. But each age plays different music, and chords which were once regarded as the work of the devil no longer frighten anyone. There is no such thing as eternal harmony: like everything else in this world, sounds too have their day, and man has to invent new ones in order to ward off silence. What we today regard as music would have been seen as noise a hundred years ago. Yesterday’s mistake is just today’s harmless oddity. The rule always succeeds the word: this is the great weakness of all grammar. The rule is not order, it is just a description of some form of disorder. Like everything peculiar to man, language too changes, and to strive for linguistic purity is as senseless as to strive for its racial equivalent.

Ντιέγκο Μαράνι, New Finnish Grammar


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