Below you see a witty history of English, in an animation video, put together by the Open University in the UK. The video takes only 10 minutes, knowing that the time span of English’s history took a bit longer. Take a seat and watch how English evolved throughout the centuries. You will also see how English had a unique ability to Absorb, Evolve, Invade and Steal words from other languages. Enjoy!
Here are the 10 chapters with some points of interest behind it:
- Chapter 1: Anglo-Saxon, or whatever happened to the Jutes. About the Latin influence on the English roots, the unknown people of Jutland, Jutes, who did not contribute to English at all, the Vikings who came up with the words ‘die’ and ‘ax’.
- Chapter 2: The Norman Conquest, or excuse my English. About the French who came along with ‘judge’ and ‘jury’ and the Norman(dy) invaders who introduced the cuisine and its terminology as well.
- Chapter 3: Shakespeare, or a plaque on both his houses. Learn about how many words the greatest writer added to the English language by the end of the 16th century, did you know he invented ‘puppy dog’ and was quite into tea biscuit business?
- Chapter 4: The King James Bible, or let there be light reading. About a Sexy Bible and its powers!
- Chapter 5: The English of Science, or how to speak with gravity. About the many scientists called Robert and what a brilliant invention the thing and word ‘pendulum’ is
- Chapter 6: English & Empire, or the sun never sets on the English language. About the origins of words like bbq and cannibal and boomerang
- Chapter 7: The Age of the Dictionary, or the definition of a hopeless task. About the 18 inch high new dictionary with words like fop doodle and snuff bumble
- Chapter 8: American English, or not English but somewhere in the ballpark. About stealing words like squash (and land) from the Indians and the Dutch with their coleslaw, cookies and drugs, and the war between English English and that Redneck-English.
- Chapter 9: Internet English, or language reverts to type. About firewalls, RSI, short attention spans and FAQs and LOL.
- Chapter 10: Global English, or whose language is it anyway? About 1.5 billion people who speak English or some derivative of it. And finally, find out what Hinglish, Chinglish, Singlish stand for.