alternate englands - belated questions
Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net
Wed Feb 16 19:55:34 EST 2005
> It happened in some of the Anywheres Christopher visited when he was
> little, but one of the things that makes the Related Worlds related is
> that they have the same languages, so presumably (in the absence of
> the evidence to the contrary) Millie and her compatriots really do
> speak English.
Which leaves me screaming "how? HOW?" To get the English language that we
know today, you have to have the Romans spreading Latin all over the shop
(and then it transmuting into Norman French); you have to have the Angles,
Saxons and Jutes all settling in England; you have to have the Normans then
arriving - and that's just the basic mix. Then you need several centuries
of people living and working and fighting and invading places and generally
using the language and making it do what they need it to. And probably the
development of the printing press and the subsequent surge in literacy, to
help standardise spelling and grammar. (And I've probably forgotten several
With all the Related Worlds splitting off at different times and developing
along different lines, I really can't see, now that I think about it, that
they could be likely to have developed the same languages. Even just within
this world, you have native speakers of English who have difficulty
understanding one another, for goodness' sake! (Put a Glaswegian and a
Corkman together, and I'll bet they'll each find the other's speech
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