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The Adventure of English
The Adventure of English
Genres: Documentary
NR     2009     6hr 45min

Genre: Documentary Rating: NR Release Date: 2-JUN-2009 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Creator: Melvin Bragg
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Athena
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 06/02/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 6hr 45min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Harold Wolf | Wells, IN United States | 05/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a concise yet thorough presentation of the beginning and changes to the English language. It is concise because no word spoken on the DVD set's 405 minutes is wasted. Every statement is packed with valuable and interesting information regarding changes, alterations, mutations, and eliminations to English vocabulary and phrases. It is thorough because it begins with language prior to English, searches data from all over the world, and ends back in England with the knowledge that spoken & written English will likely be around for a long time, but ever changing.

This is an educational product, but the presentation is filled with on-location footage from around the world, making it a richly beautiful, historical, and travelogue-like documentary experience. It is captivating as it continues, minute by minute, presenting common and seldom-used vocabulary, their meanings, and origins. Many surprises, more than countable, will enlighten any viewer.

Who'd-a-thought that "bulldozer" originally referred to the full-measure of a whipping which a bull could take, but was administered to American slaves, often causing death? A far cry from a piece of heavy equipment. "Dr. Johnson" at one point was a name given to a body part only identifiable as male. And, "nip" is a word yet to be included into a dictionary, or completely defined the way youth in the UK are using it.

2000 of today's common words were first used by Shakespeare and the Oxford Dictionary now holds approximately 3/4 of a million words. Shakespeare's longest word was "honorificabilitudinitatibus" meaning with honor. William Tyndale's 1526 Bible translation from the original Hebrew and Greek provided readership for English reading common worshipers. The American Revolution and aftermath included America taking charge of preserving English perfection and then elaborating and "vocabularizing" it into the vernacular.

Other countries added their own local colour of pronunciation and spelling to their English. Wars added more changes. Industry and trade influence yet additional. Even art and culture plays a part in the continuing change to the growing world use of the English language.

This DVD set's 8 fifty-minute episodes provide a delightful romp through peoples, places, history, time, books, rulers, and every and all aspect that can make an alteration to a word or phrase. What a FUN learning experience. Quite usable in classrooms, on research shelves of libraries, or home for the pleasure of expanding one's own mind.

My wife and I both rate this DVD set 5-stars. So that equals a Perfect-10. After viewing "The Adventure of English", boldness allows me to coin a pair of new descriptive words: tenstremendous bo-derek-ous. Many people around the world, common and genius, have initiated new English words since this language's beginning.

One phrase pulled from among hundreds, thanks to the provided closed captioning, was: "vicious abundance of phrase and volubility of tongue" which summarizes this 8-part production.

Entertaining beyond expectation.
Educational beyond comparison.

"So our English, I think you will agree,
Is the trickiest language you ever did see." Anon"
Truly an Adventure!
Aunt Ruthie | Scarsdale, New York United States | 09/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Each episode produces revelations such as the origin of the New England Primer and the Blueback Speller, which included strict pronunciation rules. So determined were our forebears to erase class distinctions of speech, that they taught schoolchildren common pronunciation intending that any child born and educated in the U.S., no matter how humbly born, could be elected president."
This Adventure Is Spectacular!
G. W. Turner | Eugene, Oregon | 09/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Quickly, whether you like history or the if the English language is of iterest to for any reason ( speak the English languge) you must own this series! It is fun and fascinatiing You will be proud that you're an English speaker, especially if you are one who speaks the American version of this fabulous language. Recommended to all, with great enthusiasm!"
English, Every Word A Moment in Time
yardoftin | Attica, KS USA | 11/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This series traces the English language from its origins through the many cross pollinations with other languages that has resulted in a language that is both concise and eloquent. The series is loaded with little gems that reveal that our language, like cities of ancient origin such as London, is a living archeological site that can be sifted for the past even as we watch the future unfold. Every time we speak, though most of us are unaware of it, we record the history of English. Words like husband linger from the days of Alfred the Great when the Danes came. We call calf meat veal because of the Norman conquest. Feel the history in every word we speak.

I am sorry to say that the other excellent series on the subject The Story of English is not available on DVD at this time. Both are worth every minute of the hours of time to view them."