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A Concise History of the English Languageby Owen Alun and Brendan O’Corraidhe
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In the beginning there was an island off the coast of Europe. It had no name, for the natives had no language, only a collection of grunts and gestures that roughly translated to “Hey!”, “Gimme!”, and “Pardon me, but would you happen to have any woad?”
Then the Romans (who had a pretty decent language) invaded it and called it Britain, because the natives were “blue, nasty, br(u→i)tish and short.” This was the start of the importance of u (and its mispronunciation) to the language. After building some roads, killing off some of the nasty little blue people and walling up the rest, the Romans left, taking the language instruction manual with them.
The British were bored so they invited the barbarians to come over (under Hengist) and “Horsa” ’round a bit. The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes brought slightly more refined vocal noises.
All of the vocal sounds of this primitive langu