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The Experience Of English by Melvyn Bragg

The Experience Of English by Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg subtitles The Experience Of English with the interesting expression “The Bio of a Language”. He therefore suggests that the language, particularly English, has a life of its own, setting himself the job of producing both an experience and a story that will persuade the reader that the language has both an identity and, to some degree, a character that recognizes an uniqueness. He is successful on all counts.

The story begins obviously with a birth and after that unfolds chronologically throughout the very first half of the book, prior to diverging to take a look at the typically parallel and various geographical symptoms of English in the modern-day world. These have actually taken place because the dawn of Empire and, as a repercussion of their diverse components and various courses of advancement, maybe recommend that English is more of a household than a person. Astonishingly, Melvyn Bragg goes through eleven chapters prior to thinking about Shakespeare. The book is therefore rather mindful in its assessment of the origins of the language and its early advancement.

Later there are 3 chapters on the language in the United States, one each on Australia, India and the West Indies. We discover a little, maybe inadequate, Singlish from Singapore, and Africa is mostly neglected, other than for the impact of African languages on English in the Americas.

Melvyn Bragg likewise dedicates substantial time to the conversation of accent, dialect, accuracy and pronunciation. Clearly each of these locations might have been a life time’s work, not to mention a book in itself, however Melvyn Bragg is successful a minimum of in specifying the area and properly recognizing the parts played by snobbishness and social class in the application of labels such as coarse, basic or perhaps proper.

A half and a years back, I myself handled to surprise an American associate who, having actually prejudged the length of my “a” asked me to pronounce the word b-a-t-h. When I intoned a noise that rhymed with American mathematics, he was a New Yorker and was more than amazed. He had actually anticipated, obviously, a seem like “barth”. Melvyn Bragg recognizes this brief “a” with an older variation of English, one that preceded the strong French impact of the eighteenth century that produced the long “a”, among other things, specifically among the middle classes of southern England. The American inhabitants, obviously, left Britain prior to this new-fangled foreign impact got here, so they kept their brief “a”, which is obviously the proper variation. This serves to advise us that whatever we speak in our lives and anywhere we live, we are maybe born into a language and the one we embrace as babies enters into our really identity.

This is simply one example of a lot of interest that appear in The Experience Of English. When put together, these peculiarities of history actually do enable the language to develop its own identity. It is therefore depicted as a living, establishing entity, continuously altering its look whilst numerous attempt to hold it repaired.

The Experience Of English by Melvyn Bragg remains in no chance a thorough take a look at the language, its advancement and its modern symptoms. Is does attain very well what it plans to do at the start, which is to develop an experience and provide an as yet insufficient bio.

The Experience Of English by Melvyn Bragg

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