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History of English

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Tit-Bits (with images, tweets) · DigiVictorian. A History of the English Language. The Double Vocabulary of English. A history of English ... in five words. The diverse origins of our global lingua franca.

A history of English ... in five words

Caleb Roenigk/flickr, CC BY In 1582, Richard Mulcaster, headmaster of the Merchant Tailors’ school, wrote that “our English tung is of small reatch, it stretcheth no further than this Iland of ours”. It didn’t stay that way. Today, English is spoken by more than a billion people all over the world. It is a colourful, vibrant and diverse tongue, that long has picked up words from the many languages with which its speakers have come into contact. 60 everyday words you never knew came from Shakespeare - Times of India. Five words Shakespeare invented that weren't very successful at all - Books and Arts. On Quoting Shakespeare. Bernard Levin.

On Quoting Shakespeare

Origins of English: "Our Language is at Present in a State of Anarchy" In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, England’s population grew rapidly: between 1550 and 1650, it doubled, reaching 5 million.

Origins of English: "Our Language is at Present in a State of Anarchy"

Reflecting this growth a number of new words entered into English: ghetto (1611), suburban (1625), and dialect (1570s). Concerned about the apparent anarchy of the language and the lack of any standards regarding grammar, spelling, and pronunciation, the Royal Society set up a committee for improving the English language in 1664. The model for the committee was the Academy which had been founded in France some 30 years earlier. Those who promoted this idea included the poet and critic John Dryden and polymath John Evelyn. History of English (combined)

English in time. Here you’ll find articles tracing the story of English from the Anglo-Saxons to the modern day.

English in time

Expert overviews are combined with accounts of key episodes and themes to introduce you to the history of English. New articles will be published regularly in the coming months. c.700-c.1150 c.1150-1500 Middle English—an overview, by Philip Durkin Eighteenth-century English—an overview, by Joan C. Nineteenth-century English—an overview. For many people the nineteenth century was a time of profound and accelerated change, one in which, as the poet and writer Thomas Arnold remarked, it seemed possible to live ‘the life of three hundred years in thirty’ (Letters on the Social Conditions of the Operative Classes, 1831-2).

Nineteenth-century English—an overview

Industrialization, urbanization, as well as the emergence of new technologies and new scientific discoveries all meant that the realities of daily life differed markedly between 1800 and 1900. Education and levels of literacy levels also experienced significant change. Revolutions in printing technology moreover meant that books and newspapers could be produced faster—and more cheaply—than ever before; the ramifications of the General Education Act of 1870 (by which all children in Britain received compulsory schooling) meanwhile meant that, by 1900, more people than ever before were able to read. As in previous eras, language serves as an admirable witness to both history and change.

Back to top. Word origins. Eccentric phrases of the English language - Country Life. From old English to modern English. How and why has English changed over time?

From old English to modern English

In this brief introduction to the subject, I will show how we can look at the history of a language in two main ways: externally – where, why and by whom the language was used; the political and social factors causing change – and internally – the pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and written appearance of the language; the motivations for change arising from the structure of the language itself. I will structure my discussion around the conventional division of the history of English into three main periods: Old, Middle and Modern English. The Old English (OE) period can be regarded as starting around AD 450, with the arrival of West Germanic settlers (Angles, Saxons and Jutes) in southern Britain.

They brought with them dialects closely related to the continental language varieties which would produce modern German, Dutch and Frisian. Creative commons image Credit: Walwyn 10 via Flickr Anglo-Saxon Church carving St. 10 under CC-BY-NC 11 licence] The History of the English Language - Infographic. Major Dates and other Timelines. Borrowed words in English: tracing the changing patterns. In Borrowed Words: A History of Loanwords in English I examine how words borrowed from different languages have influenced English throughout its history.

Borrowed words in English: tracing the changing patterns

The above feature summarizes some of the main data from the book, focussing on the fourteen sources that have given the most words to English, as reflected by the new and revised entries in the Oxford English Dictionary. Using the date buttons at the top of the graphic, you can compare the impact that different languages have made on English over time. In the “per period” view, you can see the proportions of words coming into English from each source in 50-year slices from 1150 up to the present day.

Compare for instance how the input from German has grown and then declined again from 1800 to the present day. C is for contrafibularity - Blackadder - BBC. English language is loaded (or fou, or blotto) with ways to say 'drunk' Way back when English was Old English, between AD 600 and 1100, you were either "drunken" or "fordrunken" (very drunk) after a night of carousing.

English language is loaded (or fou, or blotto) with ways to say 'drunk'

Even today, "drunken" will do for describing how you may be spending New Year's Eve. But you might also be "blinkered," "oiled" or "lit. " "Nothing in Old English vocabulary," writes David Crystal, in his new book, "Words in Time and Place," "anticipates the extraordinary growth of the alcoholic lexicon. " Crystal, with reference to the Oxford English Dictionary, charts that growth, documenting when and how 150 terms for too much of a good thing entered the language. In time for your New Year's revelry, here are a few of them: drunk, c. 1340.

Inebriate, 1497 (obsolete). Bousy, 1529. Fou, 1535. Tippled, 1564. Whip-cat, 1582 (obsolete). Pottical, 1586 (obsolete). Quizlet: History of English.