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This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Condensed" History of the English Language Course

I will be offering a two-week, four-session, condensed version of my popular History of the English Language course through University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies next spring. It is a rare opportunity for those of you who cannot attend daytime courses. Classes will be offered at the St. George (downtown) campus of the U of T.

2414 History of the English Language

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Course Details

Did you know that the word "travel" is derived from an instrument of torture? That "tragedy" originally had something to do with goats? That hotels and hospitals have something in common? The fascinating history of the English language is full of such surprises. This course is a survey of the influences that have shaped English vocabulary over the years, covering the Anglo-Saxon and Viking origins, the influx of Norman French and Central French, later Latin and Greek borrowings, standardization and French borrowing in the 18th century, and international borrowing since the 18th century. We will tie linguistic developments in with the social and political events with which they coincided. Topics will include why English spelling is so difficult, and why we have such a large wordstock,

Learner Outcomes

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2414 - 005 History of the English Language  
Winter - 14
Section Schedule(s):   Mon, Wed 6:30PM - 8:30PM
24 Mar 2014 to 2 Apr 2014
Number of Sessions: : 4
Tuition Option(s):   Flat Fee non-credit    $160.00

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About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.