Conventional wisdom suggests English is going to the dogs, that bad grammar, slang, and illogical constructions signal a decline in standards of usage - to say nothing of the corruption wrought by email and text messages.
But English is a complicated, marvelous language. Far from being a language in decline, English is the product of surprisingly varied linguistic forces, some of which have only recently come to light. And these forces continue to push English in exciting new directions.
These 24 eye-opening lectures dispel the cloud of confusion that clings to English, giving you a crystal-clear view of why we use it the way we do and where it fits into the diverse languages of the world. Like an archaeologist sifting through clues to a vanished civilization, you'll uncover the many features of English that sound normal to a native speaker but that linguists find puzzling and also revealing.
For example, the only languages that use do the way English does (as in do not walk) are the Celtic languages such as Welsh, which were spoken by people who lived among the early English and influenced their language in many subtle ways.
You'll also delight in considering modern controversies about how English is used. For example, Billy and me went to the store is considered incorrect, because the subject form, I, should be used instead of me. But then why does Me and Billy went to the store sound so much more fluent than I and Billy went to the store?
These examples and many more represent a few of the flash points in English's long history of defying rules, a process that occurs in all languages. You'll come away from this course with every reason to be a proud, informed, and more self-aware speaker of English.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase. Download and start listening now!