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The trouble with the English Language...

The trouble with the English Language... Particularly for those learning English, the world’s most spoken language, it can be illogically challenging. To use yet another new word that has emerged and gate-crashed the dictionary, English can seem to be an “omnishambles”.

Essentially, the English language has always been wide open to invasion. English has always been an evolving living entity. Since the Roman Invasion, almost two millennia ago, invaders have arrived and left a linguistic cargo.

In waves of invasion, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Vikings and Normans all contributed to the English lexicon. The language has swollen to perhaps a million words, with perhaps a third of them now redundant. Even after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 when William lll became King, the U.K. had not just acquired a Dutch monarch, it began importing Dutch words too: boss, stove, coleslaw, cruise and booze all had Dutch origins.

Then, in the age of the British empire, when a quarter of the world’s territory was coloured pink on the map, Britain hijacked some of the world’s language too: bungalow, khaki, squaw and wigwam were all imports from the Empire alongside tea, coffee and cotton.

Today, English is such a flexible and powerful language as it has been allowed to freely evolve. In the era of global language flowing through cyberspace, more than ever, as people surf the world-wide web for their conversations and ideas, English is exposed to a new influx of words. Devices dip in and out of global social media, so their users often pick up lingo from sociolect such as Afro-American Vernacular English.

Then again, there’s always been some hip young whippersnapper corrupting the English Language. Shakespeare, that linguistic rebel, introduced dozens of new words to the English Language, from academe through equivocal and moonbeam to zany.

For more information about how Minerva Tuition can help your child with their academic studies, please contact Valerie Weston on: Email: valerie.weston@minervatuition.com Phone: +852 6156 5705. We would be delighted to hear from you.


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