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History of the English Language, Part II: A World Language

In part I of this series, we saw how English evolved from a Germanic language influenced by a Celtic language, and later by Norman French, to become a robust language with a vocabulary containing words borrowed from various languages and cultures and with a well-defined yet simple structure.

Starting in the 18th century, the rise and spread of the British Empire coupled with the Industrial Revolution led to acceptance of English as a dominant language in the world of industry and technology.

And with the economic and technological advances introduced by the United States in the 20th century, English is now accepted and used throughout the world in all areas of communication.

Individuals from different countries who wish to communicate will likely do it in English unless they share a common background and language.

Corporations that communicate with companies in other countries need to have a standard means of communication—a language that people will likely understand anywhere in the world. That language is English.

In virtually every area of communication, whether it be personal, business, or government, the interaction takes place using that common factor—World English, also called Global English.

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History of the English Language, Part I: The Rise of English

Today, you can go almost anywhere in the world, and you’ll find someone who can communicate with you in English. Some speak it well, and some speak it with difficulty, but almost everyone knows at least a few words.

With that in mind, it occurred to me recently that I would like to know a little more about how the English language got its start, how it developed, what influenced it, and how it rose to such a position of prominence in the world.

In this piece, we’ll take a brief look at the origin of English and its evolution from the fifth century to the early 21st century and look at what influenced English along the way, including the Industrial Revolution, colonialism, and the rise of the United States, all leading to English being established as a world language.

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responding to edits

Responding to Edits as a Professional Writer

Seeing the latest draft of your writing covered in an editor’s graffiti can be a test of your humility. Working your way through their changes, addressing their concerns, and resolving their comments—on a draft you spent hard hours creating—can be an exercise in emotional detachment.

Your editors will be professional and constructive, but hitting “approve” on those little recommendation boxes is literally accepting criticism, so there’s no room for ego.

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watching tv better writer

How Watching TV Can Make You a Better Writer

What’s your favorite TV show to fold laundry to? You know, the one you can half pay attention to and still keep up with the plot?

Maybe you don’t have any shows you only half-watch because everything on TV right now is so good. Peak TV is a real thing.

Or maybe you think watching TV is a waste of time. It’s a “guilty pleasure” or a purely leisure activity.

I’ve seen writers who encourage others to trade TV watching for book reading, but those activities don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Yes, to be a really good writer, you have to be a really good reader. But, my friends, there is some excellent TV on right now. And if you want to be a better writer, you should be watching some of it.

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