Stephen Fry is my all-time hero of language. I’m aware that he’s not as high-profile in the US as in the UK, so if you don’t know much about him, start by YouTubing A Bit of Fry And Laurie – where you might also spot a younger Dr. House.
Here he is, on the freedom that should be given to language:
But above all let there be pleasure. Let there be textural delight, let there be silken words and flinty words and sodden speeches and soaking speeches and crackling utterance and utterance that quivers and wobbles like rennet. Let there be rapid firecracker phrases and language that oozes like a lake of lava. Words are your birthright. Unlike music, painting, dance and raffia work, you don’t have to be taught any part of language or buy any equipment to use it, all the power of it was in you from the moment the head of daddy’s little wiggler fused with the wall of mummy’s little bubble. So if you’ve got it, use it. Don’t be afraid of it, don’t believe it belongs to anyone else, don’t let anyone bully you into believing that there are rules and secrets of grammar and verbal deployment that you are not privy to. Don’t be humiliated by dinosaurs into thinking yourself inferior because you can’t spell broccoli or moccasins. Just let the words fly from your lips and your pen.
Read the (very long) full article at Don’t Mind Your Language… « The New Adventures of Stephen Fry.