The History Of English In 10 Minutes

Did you know that Shakespeare alone contributed more than 2000 new words to the English language? How about that the words cow, sheep and swine, come from English farmers while their culinary versions, beef, mutton and pork, come from French? With its many borrowed and newly invented words, the English language is one that continues to adapt to a changing world. This witty 10 minute animation (in 10 parts) looks at some of the diverse history surrounding the popular language.

The piece was created by The Open University, a distance learning school out of the UK.

Benjamin Starr

Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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  1. Engrishsays:

    I LOL’d in my pants

  2. Moghediasays:

    This is brilliant! I love it.

  3. I really DID LOL. And the content is mostly quite factual. Thank you for a good time and some hearty laughs.


  4. Edwin Brennansays:

    Highly enjoyable and informative. I just wish it had been longer!

  5. Shaesays:

    I may just be more of a linguistics and etymology nerd than the next fellow, but I was giggling through at least half of these. 😀

  6. hrbstrsays:

    Really funny!!! Slightly educational too. Well done!!! Bravo!!!

  7. Brilliant! very good!

  8. Tongue in cheek look at the origins and 1500 years development of the English language from the time the Romans left Britain to present day.

  9. Great bit of education on the English language. Kind of makes you think about the words that we take for granted.

  10. Bryansays:

    I love that!
    A quite interesting thing (from a linguistic point of view anyway) about the introduction to the clips is the use of “The Open University, a distance learning school out of the UK.” In British English, you’d be very unlikely to hear that phrase: The OU is not “out of” the UK – it’s IN the UK! LOL.

  11. emananonsays:

    This is great! Not 100% accurate, but close enough and entertaining enough to make one remember.

  12. Dylansays:

    Loved the American English bit “Not English, but somewhere in the ballpark;” I’m capable of making fun of myself.

  13. Martinsays:

    Robert Boyle was Irish.. technically

  14. Bensays:

    Awesome job! Really entertaining…hope to see more like it!

  15. Mart Pantzsays:

    If there is a language as filled with fun as “english”, I’ve ne’er spoken it.
    Half is plain nonsense, the other is a joke, and I love almost every word of it.

    Well done, mate.

  16. Crowdersays:

    Very informative and entertaining. Although, I think it would be great if you had a follow up explaining this whole thing about people saying “no” in place of “yes”. Or the combos; “yea, no…” and “no, yea…”.

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