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The Evolution of Englsih

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Tim Hobbs

on 12 April 2013

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Transcript of The Evolution of Englsih

The Evolution of English Vocabulary Spelling Grammar Pronunciation Vocabulary is probably the most noticeable change in the English language as it has expanded and expanded over the many years of its existence. Today the average person, who speaks English, knows about 15,000 to 20,000 words. The English vocabulary has expanded a lot since its inception because of a number of reasons. Firstly, England has been invaded so many times by so many different cultures that new words were invented frequently. For example when the Romans left England, the Anglos and the Saxons invaded England and took over. This gave us the word Anglo-Saxon, a term given to the invaders. The Anglo-Saxons also gave us the words, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, after some of their Gods that they worshiped. Another reason why the vocabulary has changed is because England was one of the first explorers of the modern world and colonised land around the world. This has given them economic and political benefits throughout the Earth’s history. This also meant that explores needed new words for things they saw, heard, touched, smelt and tasted. The explorers mainly used the local words for things that they had never seen before. For example, from the Dutch, English got yacht, swim and cruise and from the Portuguese the English got flamingo, buffalo and veranda. These are just some examples of the thousands of words that the English language picked up over the years of its existence. Finally English’s vocabulary has expanded because of science and technology. Science has given us words like, gravity, acid and electricity, while technology has given English words like download, internet and wifi. These are the main ways in which the English vocabulary has evolved over the centuries that it has been around. Spelling has evolved differently to vocabularly over the many years of English existence. It is only quite recently that we have begun to see different spellings for the same word. For example since the beginning of the internet abbreviations of words have become more commonly used and some of them have passed into our vocabularies. For example, for your information has become FYI and “Oh My God” has become OMG. This has changed more because people can’t really be botherd to type out the whole saying so if we have a universal shortened version of it then it changes to suit us better. Another way spelling has changed is through the advertising technique deviant spelling. The word donut is actually part of the name of a company that makes doughnuts. And the company Krispey Kreme should be spelt Crispy Crème. The technique gives the company an identity and if its really successful can change the way people spell, eg donut-doughnut. Finally, American technology and their media has had a big influence on the way we spell words. In Australia we are meant to adopt the word "film" but we use the word "movie" because of the American media and American technology, eg Microsoft Word. Over the many years the English language has existed, grammar has not changed that dramatically. There are two types of people when it comes to grammar. The presciptivists and descriptivists. The prescriptivists are people who don’t want the grammar to change and are irritated by minute changes in the language while the desciptivists think that grammar is subject to change and feel that it should reflect current usage. However in and amongst these two groups of people there are many disputes on grammar in the English language. For example, “brushing your teeth,” as opposed to “brushing ones teeth,” or another example is using a conjunction word at the start of a sentence (and or but). Much the same with spelling, grammar changes because people want to be able to use it to suit them and make it easy for them to write but because it is quite simple already it is does not change dramatically. Pronunciation around the world is different depending on the origin of the person. In Australia there are variations on the pronunciation of various words. On some words different vowels are emphasised more than others in different states. In South Australia when we say tomato, we say the word as tomarto (tomato), where as in Victoria they say tomAto (tomato). Another example is the word pool. South Aussies say pull (pool) whereas Victorians say pooewl (pool). The pronunciation of words changes because of the origin of the state or nation that says the word and because of the people in that state or nation. There are many other variations of different words around the world. The English language has been around for hundreds of generations. It has been passed down from parents to children to their children and so on, to communicate with others on Earth. It is not surprising that English has changed so much throughout its existence. England, the birth place of English, has been through many social, economic and political pressures and it has seen the rise of new technologies, new industries and products. This has caused the language to evolve to suit the vocabulary, spelling, grammar and pronunciation that the people of England and her colonies need. A good video.
It describes how
English has changed
and why
it has changed over the many years of its existance. By Tim Hobbs
Full transcript