"Pioneers of English"

Essay by KopecCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2002

download word file, 1 pages 2.3

This assignment is from when our instructor lectured in class a couple of days about the history of the English language in the form of a timeline. When we were done we had to take the information and write a paper on 3 of the people that influenced our language.

There are many men throughout history who have shaped and broadened the English language. These were all men determined to spread English so their fellow people could read and communicate better. A few men who have pioneered English are King Alfred the Great, William Shakespeare, and Geoffrey Chaucer.

First, Alfred the Great, the biggest pioneer, was a great warrior and could speak seven different languages. In the year 890, he wrote the bible in English becoming the first man to do so. After being translated to English, it became one of the most used teaching texts. Only 1 out of 10,000 people could read before it was translated.

He started the first form of "public education" and also started the first "newspaper", the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. At this time, 1 out of 1000 could read, nearly 10 times more people than before.

Next, William Shakespeare brought about his flexibility in writing. Shakespeare revolutionized compound words. Compound words were not used much in writing until he began using them frequently. He used more of the English vocabulary than any other author known. He is the only author who still has his work read and watched frequently

Last, Geoffrey Chaucer helped show a side of every story. He is the author of "The Canterbury Tales", a book where the 33 characters had to tell him 2 stories on a journey to the town of Canterbury and back. The book was the first story written about "original people." Through the story,