Monday, 7 March 2011

Why is 1611 a key year in the evolution of the English language?

The King James Bible 1611
The publication of the a translation of The Bible into English authorised by King James. Leading linguist David Crystal describes its impact:
I think the King James Bible did something that nobody else had done ... and that is increase the idiomatic range of the language.  
The Bible has had an enormous influence on the evolution of the English language. It not only expanded vocabulary but introduced new ways of  expressing complex ideas. Until recently most educated English-speaking people had at least some knowledge of  the Bible. Many words, phrases and idioms have entered the language.
The translation with the greatest influence on modern English is the what is the translation authorized by King James in 1611. This became the version used in Anglican (protestant) churches in England. It is widely admired for the beauty of its language.

More on the role of The Bible in the evolution of English here:
Audio interview with David Crystal about the KJB here

Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language
Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611-2011
KJV: The Making of The King James Bible
Audio Bible King James Version with Pullout Keyboard 
The King James Study Bible: 400th Anniversary Edition

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