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  • A Short History of the English Language
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    A Short History of the English Language

    Prior to c.450, the peoples of Britannia (Britons) spoke Celtic languages. Between 388 and 400, Romans occupied Britannia (modern England and Wales). Celtic-speaking Scots and Picts lived north of the Romanized Britons. In c.450, Germanic tribes including the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes invaded Britannia. The language that developed was Old English. Just as there are […] More

  • A Short History of 'You'
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    A Short History of ‘You’

    “What’s wrong with you?” posits the Oxford Dictionaries. But, seriously, what’s up with the oddness that is the second person personal pronoun in English: you. Spanish has six ways of referring to you: tĂș, vos, usted, vosotros, vosotras, and ustedes. German has eight: du, dich, dir, ihr, euch, Sie, Ihnen. Why does English have only […] More

  • English Language Vocabulary: Christmas
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    English Language Vocabulary: Christmas

    Christmas is the annual Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Celebrated on December 25, Christmas is both a religious and a secular holiday in the United States. English language learners who wish to participate fully in American culture must learn the vocabulary to talk about the holiday. The following sections provide the most […] More

  • English Language Vocabulary: Thanksgiving
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    English Language Vocabulary: Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. English language learners who wish to participate fully in American culture must learn the vocabulary to talk about the holiday. The following sections provide the most important vocabulary for talking about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Dinner Vocabulary Sharing dinner with […] More

  • English Language Vocabulary: Halloween
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    English Language Vocabulary: Halloween

    Halloween is a largely secular holiday celebrated every year on October 31 in the United States. Activities associated with the Halloween holiday include dressing up in costumes, trick or treating, carving pumpkins, visiting haunted houses, telling scary stories, watching horror films, and attending Halloween parties. Although the holiday is celebrated in other parts of the […] More

  • Viking and Norman Influences on the English Language
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    Viking and Norman Influences on the English Language

    During the eighth and ninth centuries, Vikings from Scandinavia from the North attacked the Germanic tribes living in England (Smith “External”). Around the same time period, Danish Vikings assailed and conquered the northern area of France, which became the dukedom of Normandy (Baugh and Cable 92). Only two hundred and fifty years later in September […] More

  • Greek Loanwords in English
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    Greek Loanwords in English

    The English language has borrowed extensively from the Greek language beginning during the Germanic period when many words borrowed from Latin were originally borrowed into Latin from Greek. English continued to borrow from Greek through Latin during the Old English period. However, most of the Greek loanwords in English were borrowed during the Early Modern […] More

  • Latin Loanwords in English
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    Latin Loanwords in English

    The English language has borrowed extensively from the Latin language beginning during the Germanic period before English was English through the Old English period and up to the early Modern English period. The earliest Latin loanwords date from the period before the Germanic tribes invaded England under invite from the Britons. Latin borrowings continued throughout […] More

  • Borrow or Develop?: Enriching the English Vocabulary
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    Borrow or Develop?: Enriching the English Vocabulary

    When William Caxton introduced the printing press to England in 1476, English developed into a physical entity (Smith “Early”). Language no longer disappeared as the sound waves of speech diminished but rather became a social institution that could be held, used, wielded, and owned (Smith “Early”). Although an interest in classical learning existed in England […] More