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Posts Tagged ‘Henry V

“The English language has a deceptive air of simplicity; so have some little frocks; but neither are the kind of thing you can run up in half an hour with a machine”*…


Dr. Philip Durkin is Deputy Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. author of Borrowed Words: A History of Loanwords in English— and creator of the nifty interactive infographic pictured above:

I examine how words borrowed from different languages have influenced English throughout its history. The above feature summarizes some of the main data from the book, focusing on the 14 sources that have given the most words to English, as reflected by the new and revised entries in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Using the date buttons at the top of the graphic, you can compare the impact that different languages have made on English over time. In the “per period” view, you can see the proportions of words coming into English from each source in 50-year slices from 1150 up to the present day. Compare, for instance, how the input from German has grown and then declined again from 1800 to the present day. (The earliest period, pre-1150, is much longer than 50 years, because more precise dating of words from this early stage in the history of English is very problematic.)

If you switch to the “cumulative” view, then you can see how the total number of loanwords from each language has built up over time. Here the shifts from one 50-year period to another are rather less dramatic, but the long-term shifts are still very striking. You can see, for instance, how German, Spanish, and Italian all slowly come to greater prominence. You can see this very clearly if you select any start date and then press the “play” button. (If you would like to see the numbers behind the graphic, a selection of graphs and charts from Borrowed Words is available here.)…

Get a feel for the truly global scope of English’s borrowing, and at the same time, an appreciation of just how “dependent” we are on Latin and French– play with the interactive graphic at “The Many Origins of the English Language.”

* Dorothy L. Sayers


As we marvel at the mash-up, we might recall that it was on this date in 1413 that Henry V became King of England.  Immortalized by Shakespeare as the slacker prince who redeems himself in battle (the Henry IV plays) and as the inspirational commander at Agincourt (Henry V), Henry does in fact seem to have been an effective monarch, pursuing a unifying domestic policy that led to relative calm during his reign. His foreign policy was dominated by a steady military campaign against France that continued to his death.




Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 21, 2014 at 1:01 am

Red food, blue food…

Hunch is a website that uses uses multiple-choice questions to help its users make decisions…   The crowd-sourced  brain-child of Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr, and several of the folks who built SiteAdvisor, Hunch gets “smarter”– more effective– as more folks use it… kind of “Aardvark meets Wikipedia“…

Now the Content Lead at Hunch, Kelly Ford, has applied the site’s preference assessment algorithm to a question that has lain unanswered for far too long:  how do food preferences vary by political ideology?


* This report examines the differences in selected food-related preferences and choices made by self-described conservatives and liberals.

* The report draws on aggregated data collected between April 2009 and November 2009 from Hunch, a website which aids in decision making.

Key Findings

* While there is significant common ground in the food choices made between the two groups, there are also important differences.  Liberals show a consistent tendency to enjoy more international and exotic cuisines, with conservatives often leaning more towards mainstream, comfort food staples.

* Significant differences also surface between the two groups in consumption preferences for meat, vegetables, fruit, and “healthy alternatives”, with conservatives generally choosing the less healthy options.

For example…

Preferred French Fry Type

Conservative McDonald’s

Liberal Bistro-style

Summary and conclusions

The data in this report shows a consistent pattern for conservatives to trend towards “homey”, familiar, comfort foods and meat-heavy options. They are more likely than liberals to indulge in fast food and enjoy splurges like cheeseburgers, hot dogs, deep dish pizza and sugar soda. Their idea of international food is a “mainstream” option such as Italian.

Liberals are more likely to be adventuresome eaters, choosing international options such as Japanese or Thai. They eat fast food less frequently than conservatives, and when they do splurge on fast food they have a tendency to favor specialty, regional chains. Liberals are more likely to be vegetarians and to choose healthier options such as whole grain bread, darker greens of lettuce, and more frequent servings of fruit.

The food preferences expressed are no doubt heavily influenced by the regional tastes of areas which are relatively more conservative or liberal. For example, fried chicken is a staple of the conservative American South. “In-N-Out” burger, favored by liberals, is a popular chain in the liberal state of California.

More on the methodology and results here.

As we decide whether to lick the left or right side of our lips, we might note that it was on this date in 1380 that French King Charles VI declared, at a celebration of his coronation in Rhiems at age 11 a week earlier, “no taxes forever”…  known thereafter alternately as “Charles the Well-Beloved” and “Charles the Mad,” he clearly begged to differ with Jesus, Defoe, and Franklin. In any case, it didn’t work out that way:  until Charles took complete charge as king in 1388, France was ruled by his uncle, Philip the Bold. Philip raised taxes and also overspent money from the treasury to pay for the continuing Hundred Years War with England.  Indeed, it was Charles who was on the losing side of Henry V’s famous triumph at Agincourt.

Charles VI

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