“ Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” How The English language acquired its vocabulary. – by Bethany Hall

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“ Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” How The English language acquired its vocabulary. – by Bethany Hall

Pokemon Go listen today!

“ Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” History of how The English language acquired its vocabulary.

-Is it correct to use the Japanese word Pokemon in an English sentence?

Although many people like to be posh about their English, the language is actually made up of many different sources. In history, way back in 450 AD, Germanic tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes flooded into England. They gave us some everyday words such as “house” and “loaf”.

In 597 AD, the Romans entered the scene and brought with them Christianity as well as words such as “bishop” and “font”.

In 800 AD, things were really shaken up when the Vikings barged into England. They brought with them some rather violent words such as “ransack” and “die”.

Much to the British Isle’s dismay, William the Conqueror and his Normans arrived on England’s shores in 1026 AD.  His reign brought along words like “judge” and “jury”. The Normans gave us about 10 000 new words as well as a 100 Year War. That led to the English rising to power in England.

 

What about literature?

Thanks to William Shakespeare, English literature’s most beloved writer, the English language has 2000 more words by the year 1616 such as “puppy dog” and the more ominous, “besmirch”.

Again, Literature revolutionized the language with the first edition of the King James Bible published in 1611; making English accessible in the written and spoken form to everyone.

 

And Science?

In the 17th-century scientific terms were added to English. Words such as “acid” and “gravity” helped the common man grasp scientific notions and better understand the workings of the universe.

Armed with science, religion, and literature, the English language ventured to the ends of the earth. In the Caribbean words such as “barbecue” and “canoe” were adopted In India, “yoga” and “bungalow” were added to the English lexicon. English adopted some rather spooky words from Africa such “voodoo” and “Zombie” and some more tame words from Australia such as “boomerang” and “walkabout”.

The inclusion of these foreign words causes some confusion. Thus in 1857, the first Oxford Dictionary was published and has regularly been updated ever since.

 

Yeah but some words are fake!

So now, back to our question; is it correct to use the word Pokemon in English? Well, based on the evidence above, the answer is a resounding yes! English has a history of adopting foreign words (literally) and incorporating them into mainstream English. So fear not Pokemon goers! Even when chasing Venusaur, you are upholding the proud traditions of the complicated language that is English.

 

World's English
World's English
Toni has been teaching English both online and abroad since 2008. She has two degrees in business, multiple healthcare credentials, is certified TESOL/TEFL to teach English, and has many years of experience in both. She is dedicated to helping her students and team achieve all the success they desire. She will give you honest and detailed feedback and plenty of talk time. Toni’s specialty courses are Medical English and Business English. She is also an academic and scientific document editor, and Medical Coder.

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