As regular readers of NewAPPS know, I am sloppy with language; I make an endless stream of grammatical mistakes, and permit too many typos in print. (Many more would be a permanent part of the NewAPPS record if my peers -- especially Dennis and Protevi -- wouldn't correct many of the most egregious mistakes silently on my behalf behind the scenes.) I am no better in Dutch, alas, or mathematics/logic. I have tried to convince my wife (a linguistic maven, who speaks half a dozen languages fluently, in addition to being a better surgeon, mountain-climber, and scientist than me) that I am trying to refute Wittgenstein's private language argument by constant linguistic innovation and norm violation--she's not fooled. Simply put: I am unused to linguistic compliments.
My sense of linguistic inadequacy has become worse now that I work in Flanders, where folk cherish their language (and dialects). I am in constant awe of the linguistic virtuosity and subtlety of my Flemish peers--all confirming Stevin's old opinion that Dutch is indeed the best language for philosophy. One nice way in which this (the cherishing) expresses itself is in the grateful noting when one has been exposed to a Dutch-word-new-to-the-recipient. I haven't explored the boundaries of the norm yet (is one thanked also for highly technical, esoteric words, or only for words that can, in principle, be used commonly?), but it can brighten up even the dullest faculty meeting. You should try it, too.