Life And Times Of The English Language

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This film on the history of the English language is hilarious and informative.

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The project by the  The Open University, is a compilation of a ten part series on the history of the English language starting in 410 AD. From the Anglo Saxons to the internet age, it tells us exactly what has contributed to making it the language that we read, write and speak today. Taking words from 350 languages and spoken by over 1.5 million people, it is hardly one that can belong to England alone!

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The script is quite clever in its use of words when talking about the different ages in the life of the language. About 2000 words and phrases were invented by William Shakespeare alone, “he gave us handy words like bible, puppy dog and anchovies and more show-offy words like dauntless, besmirch and lacklustre”.

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When the English went on a World tour (read colonisation spree), they picked up words like “barbecue”, “canoe” from the Caribbean, from India they got “yoga”,”cummerbund”, Africa had some “voodoo” and “zombie” effect that needed them to take a “walkabout” in Australia while eating a “nugget” and looking for a “boomerang”!

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Go Viral likes the video because:

1) It is educative and informative yet the famous English sense of humour comes through.

2) The animation and graphics add to the story telling.

3) Is relevant as a historical document as well as a current perspective on the life and times of the language.


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