Kimberley Skelton
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Mid-century mobility of language and architectural theory
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From mid-seventeenth century, as the Civil War transformed unpredictability into a way of life, the benefits and risks of literal motion debate collapsed into widespread acceptance of even a changeable English language. Language itself needed to be pinned down in order to protect English words from a dangerous flood of foreign terms, Robert Cawdrey claimed. Across discourses at mid-century, mobility in modes of communication, in topics of discussion, and in an individual's response was essential to comprehending one's surrounding world. The early seventeenth-century ambivalence that had encompassed strong resistance and equally strong praise had collapsed into implicit acceptance. The sequential approach to architectural theory penetrated into the very arguments with which authors articulated design principles that is, design tenets were becoming as malleable and changeable as words in the English language and as architectural books.

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