Katherine Barber, Canada's Word Lady
Founding Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Oxford Dictionary
The Rollicking History of the English Language
Thursdays: 9 January – 27 March, 2014, 1:00-3:00 pm
No class February 20, 13 March, 20 March
Women's Art Association of Canada
23 Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto
3 minutes walk from St George Subway Station (Bedford St. exit)
Limited free parking available – paid parking nearby
Open to the general public
Why is English spelling so chaotic? Why do we have so many synonyms? What might your name tell you about the history of the language? What is the history behind your favourite language pet peeve? This course is a highly entertaining and informative survey of the influences that have shaped English vocabulary over the years.
1) Celts and Anglo-Saxons: Why we have "feet" instead of "foots" and why we use the apostrophe for the possessive. German origins of our essential vocabulary and grammar.
2) Vikings: Why we wear skirts and shirts. Why the verb "to be" is so ridiculous.
3) The Norman Invasion: Why we have "pigs" in the open and "pork" on the plate. The Norman Conquest, Medieval England and the origins of chaotic English spelling.
4) Renaissance English: Why is there a "b" in "debt" and an "h" in "ghost"? Why do some folks say "y'all"?
5) The 18th Century: Re-examining our pet peeves. British and American spelling is different. Why?
6) The 19th Century to the Present : Why some people pronounce "herb" with an "h" and others without. Why Lufthansa supplies its first class passengers with "body bags" and why the French love "relooking".
7) American English: Have they corrupted the language?
8) Canadian English: How we can be very confusing to other English speakers.
$25/lecture including refreshments during the break
Pay only for the lectures you attend.
payable at the door by cash or cheque
For more information or to register, call 416-693-4496 or email firstname.lastname@example.org