Tag Archives: linguistics

The History of the English Language: (1943) and (2011)

Competing (and interestingly conflicting) histories of the English language. The first is by the British Council, produced in 1943, with according anti-German propaganda, emphasis on John of Gaunt’s Richard II “sceptred isle” speech, and a  cameo by Churchill. The second collates the 10 shorter videos produced by the Open University, narrated by satirist and Private Eye editor Ian Hislop.

1) History of the English Language (1943)

2) The History of English in Ten Minutes (2011)


As you may have guessed, my teaching for the the Final Honours School Linguistics paper begins tomorrow! Hurrah for Private Eye‘s contribution to the same. In other news, I am going to Montpelier to perform in Antony & Cleopatra.

In news the third, I would like to make an official declaration that it is never, ever sexist to ask a five-foot-tall girl if she would like any help lifting a frankly ludicrously large suitcase from high train to platform. All those decent, strapping men forced by equality-panic to disguise themselves as bovine, selfish oafs (for indeed, this can be the only explanation): consider yourselves relieved of your potential chauvinist arsery. Ask me if I’d like some help. You will STILL be enlightened male feminists. I promise.

ARTICLE: Nushu @ Dimsum

NUSHU: A secret code of the sisterhood

I’m really excited to be writing for Dimsum, the British Chinese community website. The idea for this article came about during last-but-one weekend’s visit to London, and I’m impressed by how quick the turnaround’s been. I’d love to work for these guys again in the near future – I’m enjoying articles by their columnist, Suzie Wong, and this thought-provoking piece on theatrical yellowface by Anna Chen (especially as it eviscerates a playwright I’ve previously enjoyed).

Click below to read the rest of my article. Turning pure research into features writing was fun & an important learning curve. Now, off to order that MLA handbook – it’s time to start reformatting some more/other work for journal submission…

The story of Nüshu is uniquely fascinating in the history of the Chinese language: yet, for many, the word still means nothing. Now, as a once-secret script becomes a tourism moneyspinner, it’s time for everyone to learn about Nüshu – the two thousand characters that make up the world’s only single-sex writing system.  This secret code has survived for seventeen hundred years, inspiring songs, poetry and journals of the most personal kind. And it was created by women denied the chance to read or write. (read more)…