Watch the final three instalments of The History of English, chapters VIII, IX and X, from The Open University.
For chapter IX we have prepared a fill-in the blanks listening activity, where you have to complete the blanks in the transcript with the missing words.
Remember that the vocabulary content of the videos is quite high, which together with their fast pace makes full comprehension a bit difficult. The videos, however, are funny and give us a general view of the development of English language to these days.
You can read the full transcript of the three chapters here.
Chapter VIII: American English or not English but somewhere in the ballpark
Chapter IX: Internet English or language reverts to type
In (1) ... the first email was sent. Soon the internet arrived: A free global space to share information, ideas and amusing pictures of cats.
Before the internet English changed through people speaking it, but the network brought typing back into fashion, and hundreds of cases of (2) ... ... ... . Nobody had ever had to download anything before, let alone use a (3) ..., and the only time someone said about a firewall it ended with a massive (4) ... ... and a huge pile of charred wall paper.
Conversations were getting shorter than the average (5) ... ... . Why bother writing a sentence when an abbreviation would do, and leave you more time to block, poke, reboot when your hard-drive (6) ... .
‘In my humble opinion’ became INHO. ‘By the way’ became BTW and if we are honest that a life-threatening accident was pretty hilarious simply became (7) ... .
Some changes even passed into spoken English. For your information, people frequently asked questions like how can (8) ... mean ‘laugh out loud’ and ‘lots of love’? If you’re going to complain about that, then UG2BK.
Chapter X: Global English or whose language is it anyway?
1 1972 2 repetitive strain injury 3 toolbar 4 insurance claim 5 attention span 6 crashed 7 fail 8 LOL