The History of Engiish in 10 Minutes by the Open University
By Elizabeth Anne Hull
I love the English language, one of the truly great ones in the world. It’s not spoken by as many people as Mandarin Chinese or Spanish, but more students worldwide are learning English as a foreign language than any other language today.
English is the language of aviation and most scientific papers as well as a lot of business purposes. Europe loves English too, as a lingua franca that puts all those for whom it is their second language on an even playing field. It is rich with great literature — drama, poetry, fiction, and essays.
I love words: vulgar ones (you know one when you see or hear it), precise ones (and especially just the right word for the moment, whether it comforts or disturbs your audience), vague ones, especially those used to create the atmosphere and tone of fiction (misty, dour, wretched, jolly), short ones that sound Anglo-Saxon whether they are or not, and long ones (that make a person stumble trying to pronounce them and usually feel a little bit Latinate, linking the languages of the Indo-European family). It’s a tool for communicating, and for obscuring meaning as well.
Language in general is what separates Homo sapiens from other species with whom we share Planet Earth, isn’t it?