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AyaSeaver's picture

 Yes to Johnson! We

 Yes to Johnson! We definitely wanted him when we were brainstorming and it must have just gotten distracted. The OED and Johnson have such histories and concept of language, and since most of the texts suggested so far are English Lang ones I think that choosing some dictionary entries or even some dictionary articles (history, biography) if only to get a sense of English as the flexible system it is. 

19th century slang for example, is hysterical--maybe more hysterical than our own. 

I don't know what other references to suggest though?

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