Ancwe is an acronym of Anglo-Norman conventional written English. This form of English is around the world, and it draws from all of the World’s major languages.
It is used by administrations and ‘helps’ them to run countries. The incorrectly named Old English (more accurately Anglo-Saxon) language is an early example of this. It was a somewhat artificial language based on West Saxon which was employed by the administration in Winchester (the capital in Anglo-Saxon times).
Ancwe had its origins in the English of the East Midlands, and was developed by the administration in London with a large input from Norman French, later from Cental French. During the middle ages, the influence of the great universities of Oxford and Cambridge was exerted to introduce words from Latin and Greek. In the early modern period the genius of Shakespeare and the editors of the King James Bible harmonised all the elements to create the language we use today, in which true English makes up about a quarter, and that proportion is shrinking rapidly. As Ancwe becomes increasingly international its true English component is becoming insignificant.
Common English. This is another way of referring to Ancwe and was introduced by the Rev. William Barnes, the great advocate of a return to English and friend of Thomas Hardy, to make a distinction between it and true English. He wrote in English, Common English (Ancwe), and Dorset dialect. His most famous poem being ‘Linden Lea’ in Dorset dialect. In 1869, he coined the word ‘Wessex’ which was adopted by Hardy for his novels.
The English Language is heading for extiction.
The English language most of us speak is neither English nor ours. (If it is any one nation’s, it is America’s). What we know as English is really Ancwe (Anglo-Norman conventional written English). Ancwe is a version of English which draws most of its vocabulary from non-English sources. It began to do that when true English first hybridised with Norman French following the Norman Conquest, and today’s world is exerting ever greater influence on it. Much as people might regret it, that version of English is not ours. It is owned by the world.
Dr Johnson, of Johnson’s dictionary fame, would have deplored spellings which are now standard with “horrour” and wished to have them banned from “publick” view, as for the American neologism “scientist”, it is as well that it was not coined until after his death. Languages change and as far as Ancwe is concerned that change is accelerating.
In the southern half of the country, the Zeahsisch dialect descended from West Saxon has been almost entirely eradicated by the education system and the media, in particular the BBC. Well, it wouldn’t do for us to go on speaking like yokels in our native tongue. Regarding true English, that is on its last legs. Only something like 20% of the vocabulary we use comes from Old English, the rest is made up of alien introductions, mostly from Latin. Of, course, for generations the elite of the land had Latin drummed into them, and until the nineteenth century they ruled the development of the language from Oxford and Cambridge. This rule has had such an influence that is reckoned that Ancwe is closer to Italian than to true English. The acknowledged expert on the language, Dr David Crystal, has written that English is more like Italian than it is like any other language. That is remarkable given that the nearest relatives of true English, (the ancestor of Ancwe) are languages such as Dutch and Norwegian.