22a Questions about Marriage, Law, Trade and Language

Here's a supplementary episode to answer some questions sent in – they were hard but fun, so keep the questions coming! Sadly, my brother was over so we did it in a different format. It rambles somewhat. But hope it at least answers the questions.

22a Questions about Marriage, Law, Trade and Language


Also let me recommend a book about language – 'The Adventure of English' by Melvyn Bragg. It's a brilliant book, really easy to read.

On a slightly different topic, if you want to understand why the English behave as they do, then there is only one book to read amongst the plethora of books on the subject. It's by Kate Fox, and it's called 'Watching the English' . Suddenly, I understood it all, at last.

6 thoughts on “22a Questions about Marriage, Law, Trade and Language

  1. Excellent, thanks for the answer. That is not what I expected and it’s nice to learn something new.
    And yes, as Jonathan has probably told you, he hired me into my current job and told me about the podcast.

  2. The language questions a really interestung one. I’d really recommend that Melvyn Bragg books if you can find it, it was a good read. I think Bill Bryson did one to boot. And I’m very glad you’re still listening . . . and of course you can now mock Jonathan for his own podcasting skills!

  3. Ha! Yes, actually I need to pick that bone with you. I got a complaint from Jonathan – not because he’d picked it up but because I’m told you pointed it out. You are causing strife and discount in the Crowther family. . .

  4. Good episode (I’m just now getting this far on the podcast, having discovered it a few months ago).
    David – I hope to see more of these sorts in the future. It can be very helpful to have some of these sorts of big picture questions answered. General culture, language, customs, living conditions … especially how the other half lived (the poor, women, etc.). It would be fun if you were able to do one-episode snapshots of religious history, military history, economic history, technology, etc. Even industry like beer brewing! Its great information in general and adds variety to the chronological tales of “great men.”
    BTW … On the evolution of English, you may enjoy Seth Lerer’s History of the English Language (audio book, published by The Teaching Company). Very thorough work on all the hows and whys of how we went from the Englishes of the Middle ages to the Englishes of today.
    Thanks & keep up the good work!

  5. Contrast the experience of the “North-men” speaking Old Norse when they were ceded “normandy” and their French-speaking “Norman” grandchildren at Hastings!

    When Caxton was pioneering the printing press in England a few hundred years later, h bemoaned the difficulties of vocabulary and spelling of “English” among so many competing dialects. He gives an anecdote of a traveler from north of the Thames trying to order “eggs (from the Old Norse root) at an inn in Sussex or Kent, where the word was “ayer) (like the modern German “eier). Vikings vs. Anglo-Saxons, again!
    Sounds like a Monty Python sketch or Basil Fawlty!

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