Capitol Squirrel 6-17-12Meet Word Squirrel…WS, for short.

He’s here today wondering why we use so many seemingly strange expressions when straightforward English would do just as well.

The answer to that, of course, is that nobody’s really in charge of our language. So usage happens, you might say.

There’ve been attempts to take on the role of language boss ever since we started using it. To read more, check out a book called The Lexicographer’s Dilemma by Jack W. Lynch. He’s done a great job of following the battle between the linguistic control freaks and the rest of us — the folks that use it every day.

In the meantime let’s bury the hatchet and not steal anybody’s thunder while they’re playing to the gallery waiting for the fat lady to sing.

There’s some we-the-peeps language usage right there. Which gets me to Word Squirrel’s¬†point. Usage happens. And just for fun, read a brief blog post on the Oxford English Dictionary’s site to learn where stuff like “waiting for the fat lady to sing” came from. (Then hold your breath¬†while I explain ending sentences with prepositions.)