Sunday, 13 October 2013

Writing - National English Language Day

The English Language Day is celebrated on October 13th because it is recognition of the first day that parliament was opened in the language in 1362. 

Up to that date the upper classes in English society would have probably spoken French or in matters of law and religion - Latin. The ordinary people would have spoken a form of English. Some things don't change!

A language that was the tongue of three tribes 1,500 years ago is today the language of nearly two billion people. It has three-times more non-native speakers than native speakers. No other language comes close to matching that, and it is that that makes English global. It is the modern lingua franca, the language used by the Russians to talk to the Nigerians, the Germans to talk to the Spanish, the Chinese to talk to the Brazilians.

Quite impressive facts and all true. 

This year's English Language Day theme is sports. We are encouraged to notice all the sports phrases that are used outside of sports. Here are some examples. Do you know what they mean?

  • They went down to the wire to make a deal. (phrase from horse racing)
  • Who in the world is calling the shots? (phrase from billiards)
  • I hope you let her off the hook! (fishing)
  • Kara was exhausted as she ran the last lap, but then she got a second wind. (sailing)
  • Please don't throw in the towel on this project! (boxing)
  • They started to argue but then called a time out so they'd calm down. (many sports)

God Bless