The "Inkhorn" Debate

Read the following texts carefully!

Thomas Wilson's Arte of Rhetorique (1553):

“Among all other lessons this should first be learned, that wee never affect any straunge ynkehorne termes, but to speake as is commonly received: neither seeking to be over fine, nor yet living over-carelesse, using our speeche as most men doe, and ordering our wittes as the fewest have done. Some seeke so far for outlandish English, that they forget alto-gether their mothers language. And I dare sweare this, if some of their mothers were alive, thei were not able to tell what they say: and yet these fine English clerkes will say, they speake in their mother tongue, if a man should charge them for counterfeiting the Kings English” (Baugh/Cable 1993, 213).

George Pettie, translator of Guazzo’s Civile Conversation(1581):

“[…] Wherefore I marveile how our English tongue hath crackt it credite, that it may not borrow of the Latine as well as other tongues: and if it have broken, it is but of late, for it is not unknowen to all men how many woordes we have fetcht from thence within these fewe yeeres, which if they should be all counted inkepot termes, I know not how we should speake any thing without blacking our mouthes with inke: for what woord can be more plaine then this word plaine, and yet what can come more neere to the Latine? […]” (Baugh/Cable 1993, 216).