miss-crabtreeIt is the most widely spoken language on the planet, with China having the most people who speak it, followed by India, the United States and… oh right, England, the original reason we celebrate


Officially called a “West Germanic” language, English originated as an Anglo-Saxon tongue in England in early Medieval times, at first incorporating the German, Celtic and Norse idioms of the people who settled the island, then heavily influenced by French following the Norman Conquest in the year 1066.

Ever the evolving tongue, English borrows from every language it meets, and today’s English has more than 10 times the vocabulary Shakespeare had to work with when he wrote in Olde English. He did passably well, considering.

It is also a maddening language to master, filled with as many rules as there are exceptions to the rules, but it can also be one of the most beautiful of languages, enabling one to be expressive, precise, whimsical, surreal, or as descriptive as you wish. With well over a quarter of a million words from which to choose, ambiguity is not an option.

•Suggested Activities: Apostrophe practice, thanking Miss Crabtree.

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