Sunday, December 07, 2003

Any Time is a Good Time to Bash the French

"Computer analysis of the English language as spoken today shows that the hundred most frequently used words are all of Anglo-Saxon origin: the, is you - the basic building blocks. When Winston Churchill wanted to rally the nation in 1940, it was to Anglo-Saxon that he turned: "We shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight on the landing grounds; we shall fight in the fields and the streets; we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." All these stirring words came from Old English as spoken in the year 1000, with the exception of the last one, surrender, a French import that came with the Normans in 1066 . . ."

from The Year 1000 - What Life was Like at the Turn of the First Millenium by Robert Lacey & Danny Danziger, in the chapter entitled 'February.' Published by Back Bay Books.

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