The Queen's maiden visit to Australia in 1954 marked the end of one era and the dawn of another. It was post-depression, post WWII, and pre-TV, and Australians came in their millions to bask in the presence of a monarch. These memories and the footage captured are still vivid to this day.
This episode begins with the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers in America in 1620, and their efforts to maintain the purity of the language they spoke. They borrowed relatively little from the natives, and the regional accents of the early settlers blended to produce a much more uniform sound than was the case in their homeland. Later, Scots and the Irish added their influence.
In this final episode Melvyn Bragg travels to the United States, examining the influences and changes that helped make American-English evolve. Words like "skyscraper", "well-heeled", "yes-man", "go-getter", "lobby" and "elevator" are all American terms.
The English language pushed hundreds of local languages aside. In Australia, English was coloured by a few of the local Aboriginal words - kangaroo, koala, boomerang, barramundi, woomera and cooee. Australian-English quickly developed its own character and was shaped not so much by the local native languages but by the regional and criminal backgrounds of the early settlers.
This episode begins In the Augustan Age - the first half of the 18th century - where admiration for Latin literary models was at its height in England. Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, led a movement to fix and regulate the language on the model of Latin.