Previews in English

The History of the English Language in Free Verse

Once upon a time . . .

(we're writing this in rhyme),

there was a land with a million languages.

We think it started with a tower,

people wanting tons of power,

and got confused.

One group stood out in the world to rule,

with strength, arts, & ended in a duel.

Their theater & writings were superior to all,

until their Empire had a great fall. (the Romans & Greeks)

Communication was lent to legends and fables,

stories were told around their tables.

Not much was written, `cause no one could read,

until the Normans came & planted the seed.

The Battle of Hastings in 1066

closed the gap of the old & middle english mix.

Two more inventions, one being Sam Johnson's book,

the other, the printing press -- so all could look,

spread Shakespeare & others across the land,

where modern conventions created words that stand.

Though Germanic in origin,

English is a mutt.

We are a combination of all . . . but,

Modern T.V., magazines & the phone,

have infiltrated our language to others to hone.

Our language still evolves

and changes today,

through MTV & inventions we have new things to say.

---Steve, Rob, Mary, Erin

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1998-1999 © Dr. Cynthia L. Hallen
Department of Linguistics
Brigham Young University
Last Updated: Monday, September 6, 1999