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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    Why English spelling is such a mess Why English spelling is such a mess Presentation Transcript

    • Why English Spelling is Such a Mess
      (Or, a Brief History of the English Language)
    • Blame These Guys for Starting It
      In the 9th Century, Viking raiders began taking over the island we now know as England.
    • Both spoke Germanic. Their languages merged to form Old English.
      The two most powerful invading tribes were the Angles and the Saxons
    • Germanic Languages Beat Out Celtic
      Soon, everybody left who spoke Celtic was crammed into Ireland or Wales or Scotland.
      Scotland
    • 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.
    • 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…
    • In 1066, the Normans conquered Britain, and guess what?
      They spoke French!
    • Since the King spoke French…
      oui
      French became the language of the nobles, and only peasants spoke
      English
    • Buy and Sell?
      Vin?
      You had to learn Frenchwords to deal with people with money.
    • The Printing Press Made a Mess!
      Pronunciation kept changing, but printing stopped spelling from keeping up with the changes
    • British trade by ship expanded world-wide
      Ketchup!
      Tycoon!
      and more foreign words were borrowed into English
    • Colonization brought more foreign words into English
      hickory
    • The world’s largest vocabulary
      Borrowing has made the English lexicon
      huge, versatile, expressive, and complex
    • 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
    • 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.