Course description

Everyone who uses English has experienced its idiosyncrasies. Why is pronunciation at odds with spelling? Why so many irregular verbs? What happened to "thou?" What did Shakespeare sound like? How do we know? What about the current position of English as a world language? This course addresses such questions as it surveys the long history of the language. While the topic is fascinating on its own, a historical knowledge of English gives writers of all kinds more command over the medium of their craft; it also sharpens reading skills.

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