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Monday, 5 August 2019

King's English

After the Norman Conquest, French or Latin was the court language and the languages of the literary class. The English tongue drew back and was spoken only by the poor, downtrodden English masses. The standard West-Saxon English of the Chronicle was in an utterly neglected state. A sort of anarchy pervaded the national linguistic order. Different parts in the land had their own dialect. Different writers used the dialects of their own areas. There was no standard or fixed English, common to all writers.
Kings English

Again, under the majestic influence of French, English underwent drastic transformations. The old inflextions were abolished. French prefixes and suffixes came to be freely used. A new dialect, made of the mixture of French and English, grew up. That was the dialect of the region East Midlands. That region covered London, the king's place, and the two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Its dialect was necessarily the London dialect, the King's English. It was popularised as the standard language for literature by Chaucer and Gower. That new dialect or the King's English was the language of the court and the most cultivated courtly society and of the University scholars. Naturally it had a steady and secured position as the language of literature.

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