“English is both a Germanic and a Latin language…so for almost anything you take it has two words…regal is not exactly the same thing as saying kingly…those two words are not exactly the same…it would make all the difference in the world in a poem if I wrote the holy spirit or the the holy ghost… ghost is a fine dark saxon word, but spirit is a light latin word. Another reason, of all languages English is, i think, the most physical of languages. for example ‘he loomed over’, you can’t say that in Spanish. And in English you can do almost anything with verbs and prepositions, for example ‘to laugh off’, ‘to dream away’,’to live down’ something… ‘to live up to’ something - you can’t say those things in Spanish.”
- Jorge Luis Borges, on ‘Firing Line’ TV programme 1977.