18 February 2014, 6.46am AEST
Are youse using English properly – or mangling your native tongue?
Rob Pensalfini is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Drama at the University of Queensland, and the Artistic Director of the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.
We long ago lost our second person plural – but that hasn’t stopped us adapting. Symic
Languages evolve and transform. If that weren’t the case, the only word in the previous sentence that would be considered English is and (which in any case used to mean if). The English we speak would not be remotely comprehensible to Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote The Canterbury Tales some 600 years ago. Continue reading