In recent years I have become increasingly aware of the use of the word envision, originally largely in American texts, but now increasingly in colleagues’ speech. I take the word to mean ‘gain a view of, predict’. It is entirely foreign to me: under these circumstances I would use the verb envisage, which originally meant ‘to put a face to’, but now generally has a similar meaning to what I infer for envision. If, at the end of the last century, I had been faced with a student’s essay which used envision, I would have been quite likely to have questioned its use in some way or another. Given the levels of authority with which I associate the word, I would now be unlikely to do so. It is only a matter of time, perhaps, before I begin to use the word myself.1
KeywordsSpeech Community Language Variety Temporal Plane Literary Tradition Language Planning
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