The basics of style

English is more than one language.

Apart from U.K. (Queen’s) English, there’s obviously U.S. English. But where did it all start?

Because the UK has been invaded countless times over the centuries, its language is an amalgam of many tongues.

The Roman occupation some 2,000 years ago lasted 400 years, so much of our vocabulary and word structure is derived from Latin roots. Where English words sound similar to Spanish, Italian and French, that is where the Latin root is evident. These are part of the group known as Romance languages.

Old English was where things started, though it contained vast amounts of Anglo-Saxon vocabulary brought across by German settlers up to and including the 5th century (400 – 499 AD).

Vikings invaded in the 8th and 9th centuries (700 – 899 AD) and left much evidence of Norse languages.

Then in the 11th century the French invasion brought Norman French vocabulary as well as sentence structure and spelling conventions.

No wonder English contains so many different words!

English is the leading language of international communication and an official language of the European Union as well as current and former members of the Commonwealth.

Because of the international influence of the United States from the mid-20th century, any business in the world that is serious about exporting needs to embrace English as a central feature of its trading style.

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