Dans le paragraphe ci-dessous, Mr Rybczynski rapproche le "langage" architectural plutôt de l'argot, avec ses évolutions par rapport à la "norme", et ses tentatives sans cesse renouvelées par ses auteurs d'en inventer de nouvelles règles, de nouveaux "mots".
If architectural style is a language - an analogy that is deeply flawed - it is closer to slang than to grammatical prose. Architectural style are mutable, unregulated, improvised. Architects break the rules, and invent new ones. In part, this is simply the irrepressible urge of creative individuals. In part, architects break stylistic rules because they can. After all, most of the rules that govern building designs - fire codes, building codes, zoning laws, budgets, programmatic requirements, engineering norms - are outside the architect's control; stylistic rules are firmly within his preview. Since architecture is so intensely competitive, doing something unexpected, unusual, or just different is a way to be noticed, to rise above the crowd.
in W. Rybczynski, The Look of Architecture, Oxford University Press