English is changing: for better or for worse?

Aug 18, 2010 by

Two things are certain — and I am not talking of death and taxes. In language the two certainties are that language is constantly changing and… that we keep complaining about it. And English is no exception to this rule....

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Great Vowel Shift — part 3

Aug 3, 2010 by

To conclude this series of postings on the Great Vowel Shift let’s look at the possible causes of this wholesale upheaval in the vowel system of English. The question of why the Great Vowel Shift happened can be broken down...

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Great Vowel Shift — part 2

Aug 2, 2010 by

In the last posting in July, I explained the basics of the Great Vowel Shift, a historical process that is responsible for a lot of the “mess” in the English spelling system, as far as vowels are concerned. As you may...

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Great Vowel Shift

Jul 30, 2010 by

In several earlier postings I promised to write about the Great Vowel Shift, so finally the wait is over. The Great Vowel Shift was first studied and described by a Danish linguist and Anglicist Otto Jespersen (1860-1943). He was...

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Celebrating the “great and powerful”

Jun 10, 2010 by

June 6 — also the birthday of the famous Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin — was for the first time celebrated as the Day of the Russian Language, thanks to the UN decision which proclaimed special holidays for all six...

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