Tag Archive for 'History'

A brief history of English

From Words in English, by Suzanne Kemmer, a professor of linguistics:

The language we call English was first brought to the north sea coasts of England in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., by seafaring people from Denmark and the northwestern coasts of present-day Germany and the Netherlands. These immigrants spoke a cluster of related dialects falling within the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. Their language began to develop its own distinctive features in isolation from the continental Germanic languages, and by 600 A.D. had developed into what we call Old English or Anglo-Saxon, covering the territory of most of modern England.

Read the rest here.

This page also has a ginormous list of neoligisms that even a buttmunch could appreciate.

Neo-tribalism

History repeating, the eternal return. No wise man in history has ever denied it. Here’s an interesting article from the late Christopher Meyer, an Ambassador to Washington from 1997-2003, and ex-Cold War diplomat.

It is useless to say that nationalism and ethnic tribalism have no place in the international relations of the 21st century. If anything the spread of Western-style democracy has amplified their appeal and resonance. The supreme fallacy in foreign policy is to take the world as we would wish it to be and not as it actually is.

Link to the article in the Times UK.

60th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift


1949 British propaganda film about the Berlin Airlift

Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the Berlin Airlift. In June 1948 the Soviet regime blockaded the three western sectors of West Berlin, cutting off all food and logistical supplies. It was an overt effort to push the Allied powers out of Berlin, which lay in the heart of the DDR, communist East Germany.

On June 28, 1948, the British and the Americans began airlifting food and supplies to 2 million West Berliners. Originally decried as a “futile attempt to save face” by the Soviets, and a “lost cause” by the French, the airlift soon became a resounding success. Thousands of tons of supplies were flown in on planes which landed and took off every few minutes. After a year the Soviet regime backed down, and re-opened supply routes to West Berlin.