Where did English come from?
|• How and why was English invented? |
|• How did ‘modern’ English evolve? |
To understand why English is the way it is today, it’s important to understand where it came from. Every subject we study is influenced by the history behind it, and English is no exception. Although it would be fairly straightforward to describe the invention of, say, a particular machine (the aeroplane, for example), the invention of a subject is much harder to pin down. This is because English is not a straightforward thing, but an idea. The evolution of any idea is intimately involved with other ideas, historical events, movements and the way people saw the world at particular moments in time. In order to stress this, I shall begin by discussing the idea of subjects in general and their relation to views about the world.