Monday, January 11, 2021

The Story of English by Robert MacNeil

 Hi Dear Folk,

The Story of English, narrated by Robert MacNeil.  I first saw this on PBS in the eighties and was so interested in the history that I bought the book and still have it.  

I've been going through my library revisiting many of my books, with the thought of reading them again and maybe turning them into altered books, or just keeping them. When I came across my Story of English, and thought let me see if that is on You Tube.

If you've never seen this series and love English, where it came from, what it is, and what it is becoming you will enjoy this series.  I will say that looking back to the eighties, I had just got married, forty years ago does look old fashioned, but the history of the English Language does not change.  If anything it is more entrenched now forty years later, than ever.

If you like history, geography and people, why we are, who we are, and why do we speak the way we do, you will want to watch this.

I grew up within fifty miles of London, to the North. Living within the triangle of London, Cambridge and Oxford; which was to form the centre of standard English.  I would say that my English was close to BBC English, because I grew up in the era that how you spoke was most important.  My mother worked on it closely, although I never spoke with the accent of either my father, London or my mother country Essex.

At the age of eleven I got my first tape recorder, and with my friend Jill, we would make up plays and record them.  I wish I still had those tapes, I could listen to how I sounded back then in the sixties.  Of course I have lived the better part of my life now in the USA, Philadelphia area and it is reflected in my speech and intonation of speaking.  I no longer speak the same as my eleven year old self and that is what spoken language is about, how it morphs and changes.  

My son had my accent until he went to school.  But even then I worked on his speech, and I would say he speaks well.  As a child his spelling and writing could be improved on, but he had an extensive vocabulary, because we love words in our family.  They are the subject of conversation.

We speak the way we do because where we grew up, how our parents wanted us to speak, the era we grew up in.  Dialects or varieties of speech are not wrong, in fact there are reasons you speak and I speak, the way you do and I do, and that is what this series is about.  

Enjoy, Christine

1 comment:

  1. I will try and find that on youtube. I love language and the meaning and origin of words.


01 09 10