4 out of 5 stars ****
A most interesting, scholarly but congenial presentation about the life and history of the English language and its words. It is hard to pinpoint the exact time when English became a language and it is impossible to state how it fares in the future.
There is an array of other languages from which English borrows and Anglicizes. Spoken English, itself, changes within its own region as shortcuts for phrases or polysyllabic words become part of the English lexicon. What we recognize today as new Modern English will eventually be more of a Middle English which differs from Old English.
Anne Curzan narrates her own work in a structured course to a live audience. She maturely handles the curse words, emotive words, with candor and does not exclude them from the discussion like certain dictionaries do, Webster's, for example. She also includes sayings or phrases people use now as well as in the past. Phrases responsible for many English words have their own intriguing history which are all but forgotten, unless one studies the English language. This captures students' interest and continues to excite many who find this subject both challenging and fascinating.
Today's language is rich with new technology, electronics, medicine, and entertainment lingo. Avenues of communication are immediate and evolutionary with the advent of the Smartphone.
Change in English culture influences how one says something as much as what one says. Curzan uses the term, Homosexual, as an example for carrying negative connotations; whereas, Gay and Lesbian, are favorable terms for the same expression.
This course is comprehensive and loaded with information worthy of study. One must listen and review this excellent presentation to fully appreciate all it has to offer.