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The Industrial Revolution- Impact on English Language

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tayla ayoade-sage

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of The Industrial Revolution- Impact on English Language

Which areas of Language were most affected?
Three words fields each of which social changes created by the Industrial Revolution made prominent:


What was the Industrial Revolution?
Until the early 18th Century, people lived off the land - an agricultural existence, defined by the harvests and the seasons, and ruled by a small political and social elite.

But in the 150 years that followed, there was an unprecedented explosion of new ideas and new technological inventions which created an increasingly industrial and urbanised country.

This was the Industrial Revolution. Hundreds of thousands of miles of roads, railways and canals were built. Great cities appeared and scores of factories and mills sprang up.
How did it impact the English Language?
The Industrial Revolution this had an effect on the development of the language as new words had to be invented or existing ones modified to cope with the rapid changes in technology. New technical words were added to the vocabulary as inventors designed various products and machinery. These words were named after the inventor or given the name of their choice (trains, engine, pulleys, combustion, electricity, telephone, telegraph, camera etc).
The word crinoline was first recorded in 1830.

It was
from the French word crinoline meaning 'hair cloth,' and adapted from the Italian word crinolino, from crino 'horsehair,' which in turn was from the Latin word crinis 'hair' + lino 'flax, thread,' from the Latin linum.

Crinoline was primarily described a stiff fabric with a weft of horse-hair and a warp of cotton or linen thread.

However, by 1850 the meaning of the word had changed and had come to mean a stiffened petticoat or rigid skirt-shaped structure of steel designed to support the skirts of a woman's dress into the required shape.

The industrial Revolution not only gained new words through neologism but also the influence of trade during this era promoted the increase of loan words, furthermore, these words sometimes underwent semantic shifts or broadening in order to adapt for their chosen use.

Many more new words were coined for the new products, machines and processes that were developed at this time

(e.g. train, engine, reservoir, pulley, combustion, piston, hydraulic, condenser, electricity, telephone, telegraph, lithograph, camera, etc).

In some cases, old words were given entirely new meanings and connotation (e.g. vacuum, cylinder, apparatus, pump, syphon, locomotive, factory, etc)

New words created by amalgamating and fusing existing English words into a descriptive combination were particularly popular (e.g. railway, horsepower, typewriter, cityscape, airplane, etc).
The word ambulance (1809) refers to a 'mobile or field hospital''.

The word comes from the French ambulance, from hôpital ambulant — iterally 'walking (hospital) — derived from Latin ambulantem meaning 'to walk.'

The word ambulance was not commonly used until the meaning transferred from 'hospital' to 'vehicle such as a wagon or cart used to carry the wounded from the field'.

This switch happened during the Crimean War when ambulances as we know them today came into general use, as was cited in the Manchester Guardian in 1854

Another example of semantic broadening
The Industrial Revolution- Impact on English Language
Full transcript