Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Adventure of English


There's a treasure trove of programming on YouTube. Many shows I remember fondly have ended up there. On subbing-free Wednesdays, I'll present a random video that I loved back in the day. Some of these may not have aged all that well. If you have some time, come on and take a trip down memory lane with me.

Today's YouTube offering is of much more recent vintage than the last one. This was a ITV series that aired in 2003. I think I must have seen it a year or so after on Discovery or TLC.

The Adventure of English is a history of the English language, from its earliest development through its current use all over the world. If you find any of this interesting, I would urge you to seek out and watch the whole series. It's not a long series; there are only eight episodes.

The episode I'm linking to is called "Speaking Proper", and it's about the fight to keep English from becoming some sort of unwieldy language and to keep it from changing. Yeah, they failed. It's just over 50 minutes long, but definitely worth your time.

21 comments:

  1. It became unwieldy years ago I'm afraid.

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  2. Oh, this looks like a worthwhile watch, for sure. Thank you.

    And thanks for sharing the article on that weight loss company marketing. Very good read. I liked the opposing photo shoots. Very fun.

    There is definitely a huge difference between the Hollywood ideal and a healthy body. It's a wonder I didn't develop an eating disorder as a child. My mother and I both went on some crazy diets back in the eighties.

    I like to think Mom allowed my young self to join her in a starvation diet hoping it would convince me that was a bad idea. ~shakes head~ At least it did work out that way. I'm luckier than I realize.

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  3. Sounds interesting. I'll check it out when I have more time. YouTube is a great source for so many different things. How did we exist without it, LOL.

    betty

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  4. I'll definitely have to check that out some time!

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    1. Totally worth your time if you're looking for something to watch and have an hour.

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  5. Hi Liz - all of Melvyn Bragg's audios, videos are excellent ... I love listening to his ideas, and to those of his guests ... when he has a discussion programme. Thanks for highlighting - I haven't listened to this ... so I'll be back to listen - cheers Hilary

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  6. Everything I've looked at about etymology says that you can't stop language from changing. No matter what rules there are for grammar, they will be broken.

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  7. I've never heard of this show. Thanks for sharing it!

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    1. It's great. I haven't though of English the same way since.

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  8. I like learning about the evolution of words. It's probably easier to keep language from changing in a remote area in which hardly anyone new becomes part of that population. I'll check out the video, thanks, Liz.

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  9. I loved reading The History of the English Language by Bryson. It wasn't his usual non-stop-laugh-a-minute kind of book, but it had its moments. Of course, I read a lot about language because Linguistics was my second degree in college. I still bore people with talk about prescriptive v. descriptive grammar. When their eyes roll to heaven, I offer them wine.

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  10. Isn't it amazing what you will find on YouTube? Now no video will ever be lost.

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  11. I have no problems with our language changing, but I don't want it going backwards. Not sure how familiar you are with the newspaper comic strip Zits but this edition cracked me up (and terrified me at the same time)...

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  12. Dang, my linky didn't show in the previous reply: http://zitscomics.com/comic_tag/emoticons/

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  13. I have to say, in all my travels and the community of "native English speakers" who teach English here in Asia, I often wonder why so many Brits are EMPHATIC that all others mis-speak, when they don't even pronounce their R's! (lol)

    Pertinent to this post, however, I must say that I struggled for ages to forgive people for modifying the word "gift" into a verb. My pastor would say "God has gifted us with a beautiful day" or like that, and it made me cringe internally. Isn't it more concise to say "God gave us a beautiful day"? But I'm okay now.

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    1. I had an English teacher in high school who talked about formal versus informal English. Since then, I haven't felt the need to get all correct on people.

      Calvin and Hobbes (the comic strip) did a thing on "verbing"--that is, taking nouns and using them as verbs. It's never bothered me, but I know it bothers others.

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  14. I keep forgetting about You Tube. What a treasure trove it is. On my list, if I have time one day...

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    1. When I join this decade and get streaming capabilities on my TV, I'm going to have oodles of things to knit to :)

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  15. So many interesting things out there on the web.

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  16. I would like to listen to this when i can and check out the series. I hate it when i hear an American say "speak American." No..it is English! Unless one talks with marbles in their mouth or use grunt as a form of language. I often find many people in the sports world do not have a good command of the English language and the South...hahahaaa I just sounded like Austin powers' dad...I like everyone...except the Dutch:) Hell, here we never say Toronto but Torano or Turano.

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