Clio Edition 4 - page 35

established, hence the majority of subsequent development
was in expansion of vocabulary, particularly during the
scientific and industrial revolutions. It was a simple case of
new words being needed for new things: machines, elements,
concepts and so on.
The British Empire- which at its height covered one-quarter
of the world’s land area, including India, Canada and
Australia- was of course essential in English’s current global
standing, spreading the language to every corner of the
globe. The process was however two-way: as English worked
its way into the language of the indigenous populations, local
words -for local species, traditions and other things simply
not existent in Britain- found their way back home.
English today remains the official or semi-official language
of many of these countries, resulting in its current role
as the first truly global language. Nowadays it is essential
internationally in business, finance and technology amongst
many other professions. Yet English’s development is still
ongoing, constantly changing and evolving to this day.
Language is key to a country’s identity. A greater
understanding of English’s diverse origins and development
can give us a wider view of its role in the ever- changing
cultural composition of today’s society.
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