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Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
Why English spelling is such a mess
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Why English spelling is such a mess

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a brief history of the English language

a brief history of the English language

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  • 1. Why English Spelling is Such a Mess
    (Or, a Brief History of the English Language)
  • 2. Blame These Guys for Starting It
    In the 9th Century, Viking raiders began taking over the island we now know as England.
  • 3. Both spoke Germanic. Their languages merged to form Old English.
    The two most powerful invading tribes were the Angles and the Saxons
  • 4. Germanic Languages Beat Out Celtic
    Soon, everybody left who spoke Celtic was crammed into Ireland or Wales or Scotland.
    Scotland
  • 5. Or Maybe We Should Blame Caesar…
    Actually, the Celtic language had already been mixed up with Latin, thanks to the Roman Empire invading Britain in 55 BC.
  • 6. Hwaet!
    So, you start with Celtic,
    mix in Latin,
    add Germanic, bring to a boil and get Old English,
    but it doesn’t stop there…
  • 7. In 1066, the Normans conquered Britain, and guess what?
    They spoke French!
  • 8. Since the King spoke French…
    oui
    French became the language of the nobles, and only peasants spoke
    English
  • 9. Buy and Sell?
    Vin?
    You had to learn Frenchwords to deal with people with money.
  • 10. The Printing Press Made a Mess!
    Pronunciation kept changing, but printing stopped spelling from keeping up with the changes
  • 11. British trade by ship expanded world-wide
    Ketchup!
    Tycoon!
    and more foreign words were borrowed into English
  • 12. Colonization brought more foreign words into English
    hickory
  • 13. The world’s largest vocabulary
    Borrowing has made the English lexicon
    huge, versatile, expressive, and complex
  • 14. Close to a Universal Language
    Upwards of 350 million people speak English as their first language, with many morethan that using it as a second language
  • 15. So, that’s how its history made such an amazing mess of English
    And it keeps on borrowing, growing, and changing, even as we speak.

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