Even 100 words is too much..

Click here for the Article.

Name: From Riddle to Twittersphere: David Crystal tells the story of English in 100 words
Date: 14 Oct 2011
Author: David Crystal

Key Ideas:

  •  The English language is different in the way that it spreads and changes so quickly.
  • David Crystal wrote a book about the English language in 100 words. (you can read the article)
  • Basically everything about the English Language is awesome, and that new words are being made all the time and it’s a fun new thing that is happening.
  • Origins of words can be surprising, as they may not mean what it already meant in the past.
Language Features: Etymology - word origins, lexicon, vocabulary, spread of English, jargon
Course Aspects: UNIT 4 - AoS 1: Language Variation in Australian Society - characteristics of Australian English in contrast to Englishes from other continents, in phonological, lexical, prosodic, and/or grammatical patterns, the role of language in constructing national identity

Personal Opinion: I think this article is very cool, David explains how the English language is one of the most innovative and different languages in the world and explains why, this is interesting as he explores many different ways that words can go in terms of word-building, swearing, other languages turning into English etc. It’s really interesting reading his point of view.


  • “The most interesting side to vocabulary, I find, is when the exploration of word origins (etymology) brings to light results that are unexpected or intriguing.”
  • “English is also a playful language, whose speakers love to use their imaginations in creating new vocabulary, and who are prepared to depart from tradition when coining words.”
  • “Vocabulary is a matter of word-building as well as word-using. Most words in English are in fact derived from other words. We start with one word, such as nation, and generate a word family: national, nationalise, nationalisation, denationalisation, antidenationalisation…”



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