English origin

Late Modern English


The chief distinction between Early Modern English and Late Modern English is the vocabulary. The Late Modern English language definitely has many more words. In this article, we will discuss the origin of Late Modern English and the influencing factors.


The two principal factors responsible for the rise in the density of vocabulary in the Late Modern English language are the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire. While the advancing technology in the Industrial Revolution created the need for new words, the British Empire, covering one quarter of the Earth's surface at its pinnacle, encouraged the language to adopt many new foreign words from many countries. Read on to know more on Late Modern English origin and how it developed.

The new creations and discoveries in the industrial and scientific fields developed the need for neologisms, describing the new creations and discoveries. For this, Late Modern English had to rely heavily on Latin and Greek. The classical languages did not support words like oxygen, nuclear, protein, and vaccine. They were created from Latin and Greek roots. This burst of neologisms continues even today, and are perhaps most evident in the field of computers and electronics. Some examples are byte, cyber-, bios, hard-drive, and microchip etc;


The ascent of the British Empire and the expansion in global trade served two purposes.

First, it introduced the English language to the world and secondly, also introduces new words into English. Practically every language on Earth has had some contribution to the development of Late Modern English language. Some examples are: Finnish (sauna), Japanese (tycoon), Hindi (pundit, shampoo, pajamas). As the British Empire was a maritime empire, one can see the influence of nautical terms on the origin of Late Modern English. Some examples: Phrases like three sheets to the wind.


Finally, one cannot overlook the influence of the military influence on the language during the late Modern English period, the second half of twentieth century. Before the Great War, small, volunteer militaries were maintained by both Britain and the United States. The mid-20th century saw a large number of British and American men serving in the military. As a consequence, lots of military slang entered the language like never before. Some examples of military terms that made their way into late Modern English are - camouflage, blockbuster, radar, roadblock, spearhead, nose dive etc;

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