Books

Defamation

I occasionally send off to the States for books on the cinema which are unobtainable here. There’s always a good second-hand selection at competitive prices.

As usual when selling on the net, sellers have to state the condition of the product they’re selling. Some time ago I noticed this one; quote ’may include notes, markings, underlining, bent corners, highlighting, scuffed’ (see photo). All for the princely price of 1p, plus postage.

Being a film buff I couldn’t resist buying it. My shelves are stacked with bargains of that sort. Unfortunately I’m scared of handling them, in case the pages start to drop out.

In a Nutshell Part 1

PrintingPress

First printing press

Surprisingly English language was not doled out at the Tower of Babel, but the result of invasions by German tribes in the 5th century (something Hitler couldn’t do). Then, there was no indigenous language, but a mixture of Celtic, comprising Welsh, Cornish, Gaelic, and, would you believe, Breton. Celtic being a group of languages that once stretched from South-East Europe to Britain.

The invading tribes spoke similar languages; the heady combination eventually developing into Old English, which was spoken until 1100AD. Over the years it went through many changes, due to England being conquered again, this time by the Normans, led by the aptly named William the Conqueror.

It was not until the 14th century that English became dominant again, to include new words and phrases entering the language.

In 1436 a German business man, Johannes Gutenberg, invented the world’s first printing press. Mass production of books at affordable prices encouraged more people in learning to read. Standardization was now deemed necessary, therefore grammar and spelling were conformed to a fixed pattern.

The most important link in this chain of learning was consolidated by the publication in 1604 of the first English dictionary.

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