The Evolution of the English Language

EnglishSpeech

English is truly the international language of the world. It’s rise to prominence is due in no small part to the British Empire and now to the all pervading American cultural hegemony.

But what about the evolution of the language itself ? As with any ‘living thing’ its’ evolution has been somewhat chaotic, absorbing and assimilating many different other European languages and dialects, as well as languages from around the Empire, most notably Hindi. Below we take a more light-hearted look at how it has evolved.



The Evolution of English : A Timeline


All Graphics have been provided by kind permission of The Open University

No   Title Description
1  Anglo-Saxon A look at what words the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings bought to the English language.
2  The Norman Conquest In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded Britain and bought with him fancy French words to add to the English language.
3   Shakespeare This video tells us that Shakespeare invented over 2000 new words and phrases like eyeball, anchovy and puppy.
4   The King James Bible Illustrating that in 1611, the new King James Bible was created and gave us many famous phrases.
5   The English of Science In the 17th Century, new science words were being created like acid, ovary and tonsil.
6   English and Empire Exploring how the British Empire spread across the world bringing back many new words and phrases.
7   The Age of the Dictionary A look at how lexicographers started creating the Dictionary of the English Language to ensure that everyone spelt words correctly and knew their correct definitions.
8   American English It may surprise you to know that some American words were actually English to start with.
9   Internet English Exploring the expansion of internet language, with abbreviations like lol and btw.
10   Global English The future of English and the many hybrids that have been created. Should we still call it English?

1. ANGLO SAXON

A look at what words the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings bought to the English language.

2. THE NORMAN CONQUEST

In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded Britain and bought with him fancy French words to add to the English language.

3. SHAKESPEARE

Did you know that Shakespeare invented over 2000 new words and phrases such as eyeball, anchovy and puppy.

4. THE KING JAMES BIBLE

In 1611, the new King James Bible was created and gave us many famous phrases.

5. THE ENGLISH OF SCIENCE

During the 17th Century scientific revolution, new science words were created such as acid, ovary and tonsil.

6. ENGLISH AND EMPIRE

Exploring how the British Empire spread across the world bringing back many new words and phrases.

7. THE AGE OF THE DICTIONARY

A look at how lexicographers started creating the Dictionary of the English Language to ensure that everyone spelt words correctly and knew their correct definitions.

8. AMERICAN ENGLISH

It may surprise you to know that some American words were actually English to start with.

9. INTERNET ENGLISH

Like it or not the Internet HAS impacted English such as abbreviations like lol and btw.

10. GLOBAL ENGLISH

The future of English and the many hybrids that have been created. Should we still call it English?

Author: Robert

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