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English in Modern Times: 1700-1945 (Hodder Arnold by Joan C. Beal

By Joan C. Beal

English nowa days describes the improvement of the English language from 1700 until eventually 1945, and argues that it really is during this later glossy English interval that the features of 'modern' English evolved.

content material: smooth English and smooth occasions --
The vocabulary of later smooth English --
Recording and regulating the lexicon : dictionaries from Dr. Johnson to the Oxford English dictionary --
Syntactic swap in later glossy English --
Grammars and grammarians --
Phonological swap in later smooth English --
Defining the normal of pronunciation : saying dictionaries and the increase of RP --
past common English : different types of English within the later smooth period.
summary: English nowa days describes the advance of the English language from 1700 till 1945, and argues that it really is during this later smooth English interval that the features of 'modern' English developed

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Extra info for English in Modern Times: 1700-1945 (Hodder Arnold Publication)

Example text

Use all the modern terms of art, sham, banter, mob, bubble, bully, cutting, shuffling and palming’. Like today’s ‘trendy vicars’, the young readers of Swift’s time were attempting to display what would now be termed ‘street cred’ by their use of slang terms, all of which could be found in the ‘cant’ dictionaries of the time. Swift’s conservatism is echoed by Addison in the Spectator 165, 8 September 1711. Like Swift, Addison uses a letter as a means of satirizing the fashion for adopting French words, and blames the war for this.

18 English in Modern Times The father is particularly perplexed by Charte Blanche, and asks advice of the curate, who judges the letter to be ‘neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring’. The father concludes from an earlier letter that his son is capable of writing in plain English when he needs money. However, he later sees ‘all the prints about three days after filled with the same terms of art, and that Charles only wrote like other men’. Addison here is rather more accurate than Swift in targeting lexical innovations: whilst Swift’s preliminaries had been used in this military sense by Cromwell in 1656, the first citation of corps in the OED is from this very article by Addison.

1. Introduction We have seen in Chapter 1 that the later modern period was one in which speakers of English were exposed to a vast number of new experiences. Technological and scientific inventions, trade, exploration and colonization all brought speakers of English into contact with phenomena which had not previously been named in their language. We might expect to see a steady growth in the vocabulary of English throughout this period, as the pace of ‘progress’ accelerates. 1 shows, the progress of lexical innovation in this period is not so straightforward.

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