The End Of The English Language

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Middle English (1100 AD to 1500 AD) The year 1066 is one of the most important years in the history of the English language. This is the year that the Normans invaded England. The Normans were a group of people who lived on the other side of the English Channel. Though the people of the area originally spoke a variation of the Scandinavian languages, eventually, the group learned French as Edward the Confessor brought French language into his court in Normandy. In January 1066, the English king died without an heir, so the Norman king at the time, William the Conqueror decided to invade England and by December of the same year, he was crowned King of England. Within 30 years of his crowning, most of the land was owned by the Normans as William rewarded his friends and executed the earls who were born in England. As the upper class Normans began to take their places in the English cities, they brought their upper class ways with them. This was the beginning of the end of the fundamental Old English that did not have the language to match the upper class Normans. The vernacular, or spoken English, remained Old English, but the upper class spoke more French. As the servants of the upper class were forced to learn the language of their masters, the French language began to spread. Interestingly, William the Conqueror learned to speak English. Even though he learned English, he and the upper class in his court did not do anything to further the language and since the court was constantly working with the French on the mainland, the French language remained vital to the success of England. When the middle class and lower class learned French, they did not replace their English language. Churches were the most common place that midd... ... middle of paper ... ... while today we have the long a in name. Shakespeare’s writings were some of the last ones to use the continental style. As the Early Modern era came to an end, Jonathan Swift played with the language by commenting through satire and good ideas. He proposed that the British create a government agency that would regulate the English language and the proposal was almost accepted. Samuel Johnson took charge of creating a dictionary in 1755; he worked for seven years creating it. This led to an growth in the number of grammarians and rhetoricians who spent significant time perfecting and prescribing the English language. Their goal was to make it easier for people to express themselves so other would understand them. The language also began to see idioms like driving a bargain and bolstering an argument as people began to customize language to meet their unique needs.
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