the adventure of english episode 6 speaking proper bbc documentary

the age of reason began, and english scholars of mathematics and science like isaac newton started publishing their books in english instead of latin. jonathan swift would attempt to save the english language from perpetual change, followed by samuel johnson who would write the a dictionary of the english language, made up of 43,000 words and definitions, written in seven years and published in 1755.

though the upper and lower classes found no reason to change or improve their grammar, the middle class used it to their advantage in joining polite society. william cobbett, a son of the lower middle class and writer of rural rides, advising those who wish to rise above their station that writing and speaking properly was essential.

as english began to replace gaelic in scotland it took on its own character, using "bonnie" from the french "bon" and "kolf" from the dutch for "club", the probable origin for "golf". several other words came from gaelic, including "ceilidh", "glen", "loch", and "whisky". pronunciation became an issue all over the united kingdom, as some sounds could be spelt in several different ways, while one spelling could have several articulations. irish actor thomas sheridan wrote british education, a book that attempted to educate all english speakers in the proper pronunciation of words. however, some scots were offended that their speech might be considered second-class and the scottish poet robert burns, son of a poor farmer, became the hero of the scottish language. william wordsworth also became a champion of the ordinary peoples' english, suggesting that poetry need not be written using haughty vocabulary.

the turn of the 19th century marked a period when women were more educated and their speech and literacy improved. novels were thought to be a frivolous occupation for females until jane austen wrote about the capabilities of such works in her own novels; her works were highly proper, often using words like "agreeable", "appropriate", "discretion", and "propriety".

then came the industrial revolution and the language that came along with it. the steam engine changed the meaning of words like "train", "locomotive", and "tracks" to be associated with the new technology. along with this age came a change of social situation; the term "slum" came into use, and cockney rhyming slang became a new form of speech for those in the lower class.

the adventure of english episode 6 speaking proper bbc documentary