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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

Grammar Girl (Mignon Fogarty) on the Strange History of the English Language

00:00 52:44
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Mignon Fogarty has spent years helping others sort out the extremely peculiar grammar of the English language. But in the course of her research on how to navigate the weirdness of English, she learned the why of the weirdness of English.

Did you know that egregious once meant outstandingly good? Or that the sport badminton comes from an English manor with a love of peculiar sports? Or that many of the words in the Oxford Dictionary of English got there from the suggestions of a serial killer?

But the strangeness doesn't stop there. In today's interview Mignon tells us such stories asThe same person who came up with the rule that we shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition also said we shouldn't refer to children as "who" because they aren't rational beingsNoah Webster's first failed dictionary went too far with spelling reform. He included "wimmen" for "women" and "tung" for "tongue" and everybody hated it.The origin of certain phrases (run of the mill, beyond the pale, by the wayside) 
May 15, 2018
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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