Jul 31st 2017
Guest post written by Dominic Lester on July 31, 2017
The last reported population of the England was 53.01 million. However, there are 1.5 billion speakers of the English language right now in the world. This is the impact of the English language in all over the world. The English language also has the honors like the language of the air, which means a pilot regardless of his or her origin, should know English and has to communicate in the English on the radio. If I start listing the facts and honors of the English language, the length of an article would not be enough. That is why we will stick to our main topic of this article and is going to discuss the transformation of the English language from the ancient England to the modern one in the next lines.
From 450 to 1100 AD:
Very few people know that the English language is the heritage that the Germanic tribes from the era of 450 AD brought with them when they invaded the medieval England. These invading Germanic tribes were also used to speaking similar kind of languages which through the course of the time become the old English in 1100 AD. That old English was so much sufficient of transformation that we still can find its roots in the modern English words like to be, strong and water.
The Germanic tribes that invaded the England were Angles, Saxon and Jutes. However, the English was most closely related to the Frisian languages. That is why the English and Frisian form the Anglo-Frisian group in the West Germanic. This was the root of the English language that further transformed in next 1,400 years.
From 1100 to 1500 AD:
Just like the West Germanic tribes came to England with their languages, the France in 1066 also came to England with the gift of language. In the 1066 William, the conqueror of France invaded the England and conquered it. Now those invaders are called as the Normans who brought a kind of French language with them, which later became the official language of the Royal Court of England. Now there were two languages were start hearing in the England. One is the old English from the West Germanic tribes which were used to be spoken by the lower class of England. The second language which French came with in England became the language of the ruling and business class of England. However, due to the struggle of England working and lower class, in the 14th century the old English finally becomes the dominant language in England, but due to the oppression of the French people, many French words added into the old English which transform into the Middle English.
Very few people know that the J. R. R. Tolkien was also one of the authors who used the Middle English in his novels and books. He also used many major Middle English sentences and words in his historical book the Hobbit and an unexpected journey. Moreover, in the Middle English period, the authors used to use the regional dialects in their writing, which also become their dialect traits.
From 1500 to 1800 AD:
Despite many invasions in the England and by the England around the world, the English as a language kept changing and transforming into a much better pace. Towards the end of the Middle English era which is 1500 AD, a sudden change in the pronunciation of the words due to the great vowel shift. The vowels start getting the pronounced shorter and shorter that keep changing the sound and pronunciations of different words changed. Because England was busy in invading different countries in that era, they also start getting connected with various people by using the form of English which belonged to the end of the middle and the start of the early modern English.
The best thing that happened to the English in that era was the invention of the printing. This invention helped England a lot to promote their language all over the world. Moreover, the English also starts considering to be the language of the printing and all the books of that time start getting printed in the early English language. The more printing process gets advanced; the books become cheaper and more people started to learn to read the English language. Due to the printing, the spellings of the English words and the grammar become the standard for many publishing houses. Moreover, the dialect of the London also become standardized in the printing of this era because most of the publishing house was situated in the London.
In the year 1604, the English as a language achieved its biggest milestone because in this year the first dictionary of the English language got published in London.
From 1800 to Present:
We all know that this is the era of the modern English. However, this is also the slowest era of the transformation of the English language. There are only two major differences in the early modern English and today’s modern English which is also called as the late modern English. One major difference happened in the era of the industrial and technological revolution which created thousands of new words in the English language. This is the era from which most of our vocabulary of modern English comes from. These words were not created by any government or any council, but by the authors and other English language experts. There were more authors and writers in that era as compared to any other era due to the printing facility. It is said that alone Shakespeare created 1700 English words. Now consider how many words would the writers of the past 1800 era would have created.
The second major difference came in late modern English with the dominance of the British Empire on the earth. On one side where the British Empire was dominant on other nations of the earth, the English as a language got dominated by other languages of the world. That is why now you can find many English words which you will find similar in different words of languages too.
The Dominic Lester is a Master’s degree holder in the University of the Westminster. He is a professional blogger and article writer who loves to write on different niches, especially the English as a language. He also provides his writing services to the academic writing companies which give essay help to those students who struggle with writing their own assignments.
Jul 30th 2017
Written by Malki Ehrlich on July 30, 2017
The concept of summer vacation has always been a debated topic around the world, but is particularly contentious in the United States with older generations questioning the rationale behind such an ‘unnecessary’ break. It’s safe to say however, that summer vacation, just like daylight savings time, is going to be around for a very long time.
So what is summer vacation?
Summer vacation, which can be either referred to as summer holiday or summer break is a school holiday that occurs in the summer both in the United States and in other countries around the world. Summer break is usually the longest break in the school year lasting usually for a period of 6 to 14 weeks, depending on the country.
Origin of summer vacation
There have been a lot of myths and oral tradition concerning the origin of summer vacation. Some of these myths contend that summer vacation or summer holiday originated as a result of the school calendar originating from the Agrarian family calendar. Since during the early settlement of the United States, the nation was made up primarily of farmers. According to this myth, it was believed that school kids took a break during summer to help their parents in their fields and farms. As exciting this story may sound, it is incorrect and had nothing to do with kids sweating off labor hours in the farm all in the name of tilling the soil. Before the civil war, school kids never took a break from school during summer. Looking back at the history of the American summer breaks we found that in the year 1842, school kids in the city of Detroit had an academic year that ran for 260 days.
The origin of summer vacation in the US had a lot to do with the rising middle and upper class in American society. During the summer period, most wealthy and affluent families took all excuses to escape from the hot and harsh summer weather with their kids to the cool countryside. This affected the school attendance and learning progress since school attendance wasn’t mandatory at that time. As this continued, legislators and labor union advocates argued for counterbalancing a more regulated summer holiday/break for school kids. They were all agreed that the idea of learning year-round was not ideal for kids since the brain is a muscle which needed to be rested.
As time went by, summer holiday became a norm and fully instituted with various districts cutting out about 40- 60 days off the school year calendar to accommodate this newly conceived summer break. Gradually, summer holidays became a sort of business for business folks who took advantage of this summer break to turn it into a business industry and venture.
Why is it called vacation in the USA and holiday in the UK?
English is a language that originated from the West Germanic dialect. The word holiday was taken from the German language term for the haligdæg – holy day; back in that time, the only leisure time possible was on a Holy Day, so it makes sense why the British use the word holiday.
In the UK “going on holiday” means taking time off, what Americans call “going on vacation”. An actual national/religious holiday is not required.
To an American, holiday means a set time or day; days off that the administration team has seen fit to give (e.g. Christmas or New Year’s Day ). It’s a government dictated holiday away from work.
- Brit: Jenny and I are going away on a holiday.
- American: Jenny and I are going away for the holidays.
- Brit: We might go on a holiday.
- American: We might go on a vacation.
- Brit: I’m going on holiday to Spain during the Christmas holidays.
- American: I’m going on a vacation to Spain during Christmas holidays.
Nowadays summer vacation is a time for families to experience a time of fun, get to visit interesting tourist attractions within and outside their countries. So no matter what word you use to represent your time off, Ginger wishes you and your family enjoyable and memorable one!
Jul 18th 2017
Lights, Camera, Selfie! This describes what we see among youth and the millennial generation in our world today. How did these words- selfie and hashtag – become so predominant in our social networking world and how does this affect our common usage of grammar?
What is a Selfie?
The word Selfie, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “a self-portrait photograph typically taken with a digital camera or camera phone held in one hand or with a selfie stick”. One great feature that accompanies selfies is the use of the hashtag.
What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is usually a pound or hash sign represented with the symbol (#). The term hashtag began on the social media platform Twitter as a way of drawing attention and promoting brands, this can be tricky at times as some hashtags can be difficult to decipher and the grammar can be sloppy. Here are some funny examples:
- #grammarschools: Grammar Schools
- #BlackHateBook: Black Hat eBook
- #susasnalbumparty: Susan Album Party
Is a Selfie more than just a Hashtag?
Nowadays, hashtags and selfies are used for various media linking campaigns on social media. Time has proven that a selfie can go a long way in creating global awareness about important issues and it’s now a common research practice for companies to use selfies and hashtags to solicit opinions from their friends, followers, and customers:
Two examples of great Selfie campaigns:
- Recently, due to the increasing rate of male suicides in Britain, the #It’sOkayToTalk challenge began to trend on Twitter. Men were being asked to share a selfie picture of themselves doing the okay sign while also adding a hashtag to the photo #itsokaytotalk and tagging their friends. Reports revealed that this singular campaign led to a drastic reduction in male suicides in Great Britain.
- Dove, a popular personal care brand, created a hashtag campaign #loveyourcurls and asked their followers to share a selfie of their curls and what makes it special to them. This has proven to be an extremely successful campaign!
The importance of selfie can never be undermined because of the potential power it can wield on social media. It has become normal for world leaders to pose for selfies, sport icons, movie stars, and down to the 8-year-old girl with her group of friends posing for a picture in the park. The Selfie and Hashtag have gone a long way in building brands and spreading information.
Here’s some food for the thought:
Does the Selfie/Hashtag mania compromise improper use of the English language? Or does it, rather, move us forward in the evolution of the English language?
Jun 19th 2017
Although the growth of digital communication — and its rabid love of acronyms and emoji — may be contributing to the erosion of the niceties of English spelling and grammar, they ain’t dead yet. Proper punctuation and correct spelling are still encouraged, if not downright expected, in a variety of areas, and is particularly important in the world of business.
Indeed, whether you work for a multimillion-dollar conglomerate or hundred-dollar startup, quality communication skills are key — and that includes more than the ability to make your point in 140 characters or less. Knowing where to place your commas, whether you mean “to,” “too,” or “two,” and when to “i” before “e,” can go a long way toward making a professional impression.
On the flip side, even simple spelling and grammar errors can be instant warning signs to everyone from your managers and employers to clients and customers. At worst, small errors can turn into expensive mistakes. Even at best, poor spelling and grammar can cause you to appear sloppy or unorganized, leading customers to lose trust in your brand and employers to second-guess your potential success in their company .
1. Spelling Errors Can Stand Between You and Your Dream Job
In addition to making you look bad on the job, spelling and grammar errors can prevent you from even getting a job in the first place. One study found that 50% of hiring managers consider spelling and grammar mistakes to be the biggest red flag on a résumé or CV — more than unexplained gaps or even job hopping.
This is especially true in the modern era, where you can use a comprehensive spell-checker, like Ginger Page, to do a thorough check of your résumé in minutes. Platforms like Ginger can find not only basic spelling errors but many of the more complex spelling and grammar issues that can stop your résumé from shining, meaning there’s no excuse for careless errors.
And checking over your materials includes going through your digital assets, such as your personal website, online portfolio, or LinkedIn page, as well. That’s right, only a scant 4% of recruiters don’t use social media as a resource when evaluating and engaging potential talent.
Thankfully, as easily as you can put together a killer digital résumé with the drag-and-drop functionality of many of the best free website builders, you can just as easily check your content with the Ginger browser extension. Ginger can find everything from missing punctuation to misused homophones to ensure your résumé makes the right impression.
2.Poor Communication Skills Can Put the Brakes on Your Promotion
Of course, those who already have their dream jobs aren’t past the point of spelling and grammar expectations. No matter what your occupation, chances are it involves at least some communication with your bosses and co-workers — communication that may have more of an impact on your bottom line than you realize.
In fact, one study of the LinkedIn profiles of 100 professionals showed a direct tie between communication skills and job advancement. Not only did the study find that those with fewer grammatical mistakes on their profiles tended to have more promotions but also tended to obtain higher positions. If you consider each promotion to come with a modest 5% salary raise, your writing errors could be costing you thousands.
So, even if you struggle with when and how to use a semicolon, or whether something is “affected” or “effected,” you can (and should) still make the effort to produce clean correspondence. While this could mean spending a little quality time with your old English textbook, you’ll likely be better off spending some time with Ginger.
With Ginger as a part of your web browser, you can check for spelling and grammar mistakes in every email and report you send out. This will ensure you never accidentally tell your boss to “meat” a client at the airport.
3. Bad Grammar Can Give a Poor Brand Impression
Furthermore, spelling and grammar mistakes won’t just prevent you from excelling in someone else’s business — they can cost your own business a good deal of money, as well. Whether on your company’s website, marketing materials, or in-store signage, incorrect grammar leaves customers with a bad impression.
For instance, a typo on your company’s latest coupon may not prevent visitors from using it, but that mistake can certainly detract from your overall message — and, of course, be mocked on social media forever. Imagine if the latest Kohl’s ad offered a discount on “sweeters” or “skarfs” — the resulting tweets and posts would likely be about the embarrassing typo, not the discount.
Those mistakes can even drive customers away entirely. A study of over 1,000 UK consumers found that many people consider spelling and grammar errors to be the biggest brand turn-off. The results revealed that 59% of respondents said they would not use a company with obvious spelling or grammar mistakes on its website. And a whopping 82% would not trust a company that had not translated its content correctly into English.
Even your search engine rankings can be affected by the lack of proper editing, as today’s algorithm-powered search engines use content quality as a ranking factor. Both Google and Bing have made statements suggesting that pages full of typos and grammatical mistakes will fall lower in the rankings than their spell-checked competitors, so it will likely behoove you to let Ginger take a look before you publish.
Improve Your English to Improve Your Bottom Line:
Although many of us are prone to using acronyms and casual language in our daily texts and emails, the lack of quality proofing in our business correspondence can have bigger impacts on our bottom lines than most people realize. Everything from getting your dream job to landing your dream customer can be influenced by the quality of your spelling and grammar, so always be sure to check — and double check — your writing.
Brittney is a Contributing Editor for Digital Brands, Inc., where she uses her extensive research background to develop comprehensive guides and in-depth company profiles for BadCredit.org and CardRates.com. Brittney specializes in translating complex ideas into readable, engaging content for B2C and B2B audiences.
Jun 14th 2017
Written by Malki Ehrlich on June 14, 2017
Everyone has had a “Kodak moment”, and the lucky ones have actually been able to capture this moment on film or print. As the #KodakMoment hashtag sweeps across the Internet, I can’t help but wonder if anyone knows where the term actually comes from?
Kodak Moments – What are those?
As many of us remember, the Eastman Kodak Company (referred to simply as Kodak) filed for bankruptcy in 2012; a clear fallen victim of the advanced camera revolution. However, the Kodak name still rings true for another cohort of picture takers who boastfully brag of catching the highly illusive “Kodak moment”.
Kodak’s slogan grasped its huge following of people in the 1980s when TV commercials utilized the term: “These are the occasions. Kodak moments”.
How is this expression used nowadays?
The expression is currently used when snapping a photograph of somebody at a specific moment that will never be forgotten or at an especially memorable location. The recently added definition in Oxforddictionaries.com is defined as: “an occasion suitable for memorializing with a photograph”.
In true Oxford style, the term was added to their online dictionary once it began to rise in its utilization via web-based networking media… before then, you just had to be old(er), to know what it meant!
Examples of its usage:
- I love the pool, it’s always full of Kodak moments, as swimmers, dive, swim and test their limits.
- You should have seen my son give that speech, now that was a Kodak moment!
- I captured that Kodak moment on my iPhone, just as the two runners crossed the finishing line almost simultaneously.
- My sister’s wedding was full of Kodak moments.
Occasionally, this expression is utilized ironically when one is attempting to state that a thought or notion is outdated, out of style, or insignificant.
Example: “Goodness gracious, wearing torn pants is so Kodak!”
Send us your Kodak Moment!