The Adventure Of English

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The Adventure Of English: This Earth, This Realm, This England
This Earth, This Realm, This England
Season 1  |  Episode 4  |  SBS2  |  December 8, 2009

The fourth program visits the England of Queen Elizabeth the First, and shows how naval enterprise and foreign trade brought scores of new words into the language - anchovy from Spain, ketchup form Malay, and knapsack from Dutch are just three familiar exports from this time. We see how scholars were bringing new Latin terms into the language, and how there was a movement to stop this and keep English pure if it had succeeded, we might now say ungothroughsome instead of impenetrable. We visit Penshurst Place, home of the Sidney family, to see how poetry joined swordplay as a proper attribute of any up-and-coming young man. And we travel to the South Bank of the Thames and to Stratford-upon-Avon to find out how Shakespeare's English really sounded, and how he combined the languages of the common people and the aristocracy to take English to new heights and to invent so many memorable words and phrases that it seems - as a modern spectator said of Hamlet - that his plays are full of quotations.

The fourth program visits the England of Queen Elizabeth the First, and shows how naval enterprise and foreign trade brought scores of new words into the language - anchovy from Spain, ketchup form Malay, and knapsack from Dutch are just three familiar exports from this time. We see how scholars were bringing new Latin terms into the language, and how there was a movement to stop this and keep English pure if it had succeeded, we might now say ungothroughsome instead of impenetrable. We visit Penshurst Place, home of the Sidney family, to see how poetry joined swordplay as a proper attribute of any up-and-coming young man. And we travel to the South Bank of the Thames and to Stratford-upon-Avon to find out how Shakespeare's English really sounded, and how he combined the languages of the common people and the aristocracy to take English to new heights and to invent so many memorable words and phrases that it seems - as a modern spectator said of Hamlet - that his plays are full of quotations.

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