Irreversible Changes In English Language. Analytical Essay Example

  • Category: History,
  • Words: 523 Pages: 2
  • Published: 18 March 2021
  • Copied: 185

When reading old writing, Shakespeare for example, it's clear to see that the language that he used back then has changed and evolved a lot into the language that we speak today. The changes are so evident that these days some people struggle even reading Shakespeare because of the way that he wrote. Of course, these changes didn't happen overnight, it actually took centuries for American English to develop into what it is today. From a West Germanic language brought by the Anglo-Saxons, to the abbreviated, unsophisticated verson of English that we use today. 

To start somewhere in England, The Norman Invasion killed King Harold, King of England at the time, during the Battle of Hastings. This left William of Normandy to be crowned as King of England in place of Harold. This brings Norman French into England. Though William of Normandy introduces Norman French, it only became relevant for the upperclassmen and the court. English is still spoken by the majority of England. Latin is used in schools and churches, though. And, "for the next century, English, for all practical purposes, is no longer a written language" (Algeo, thoughtco.)

In 1171, Henry II declared himself the overlord of Ireland. Like King William to England, Henry introduces Norman French and English to Ireland. Later, in 1204, King John loses control of Normandy, and leaves England as the only place to speak Norman French and English. David explains that "Under Edward I, royal authority is consolidated in England and Wales. English becomes the dominant language of all classes" (David, Thoughtco.) Shortly after, Geoffrey Chaucer writes The Canterbury Tales in Middle English, and English becomes the official language of the law courts and replaces Latin as the main language in schools. And in 1362, "The Statue of Pleading makes English the official language in England" (McArthur, Thoughtco). King Henry IV later becomes the first English monarch to give a speech in Middle English when he speaks at his coronation. 

William Caxton brings the first ever printing press to Westminster and publices Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Printing becomes a big things, and monk Galfridus Grammaticus publishes Thesaurus Linguae Romanae et Britannicae, and it became the first English-to-Latin book. In the early 16th century, William Tyndale publishes the English translation of the Bible, and Thomas Wilson publishes The Art of Rhetorique, becoming one of the first books about logic and rhetoric in English. The telegraph, introducing the development of rapid communication, is later invented by Samuel Morse, "a major influence on the growth and spread of English" Mugglestone explains. Following the telegraph, American English is introduced in Australia, South Africa, India, and many others. And 1876 brings the telephone, invented by Graham Bell, modernizing private communication. 

Years after WWII, the first social networking site was launched in 1992. 2004 brings MySpace and Facebook. This is only the beginning of many other social media that are to come. Texting was introduced in 1994, which is where the abbreviations and shortening of words ultimately started. Seeing that it is easier to abbreviate words and phrases when texting rather than just writing the whole thing out, people have settled with basic abbreviations and acronyms (ie. LOL, YOLO, BRB, etc.) Since there was no such thing as texting back then, there was no need to abbreviate because everything that was communicated was said in person. As people and technology started to evolve, so did the English language. 


 

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