_____Women and the English Language____
Our annual theme this year, inspired by the British centenary of votes for women, will address a range of issues connected with the portrayal and representation of women in the English language. We shall also look at the influence of gender within the language itself, considering such grammatical constructs as: agent nouns, grammatical gender in Old English, today's neutral gender, and Genderlect. Finally we shall examine sexually charged language, and women writers from Julian of Norwich to J K Rowling (or should that be Robert Galbraith?). We shall organise events and publish a series of monthly short essays which aim to raise ideas, ask questions and seek the involvement of others.
Welcome to The English Project
The English Project promotes awareness and understanding of the unfolding global story of the English language in all its varieties – past, present and future. We try to present ideas about English in an intelligent, entertaining, inclusive and interactive way. Our hope is that a greater understanding and enjoyment of English can enrich people’s lives and enable them to make more of the exceptional cultural and communications phenomenon which English has become. We intend to reach a broadly-based audience, globally, socially, ethnically and by age amongst English’s two billion speakers worldwide (that's as a first or second language).
‘That which we call a rose,’ says Juliet, ‘By any other name would smell as sweet’. So, what’s in a name? The answer is: ‘A great deal.’ ‘A rose’, says the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘is a woody perennial flowering plant.’ But that’s not what we have in mind when we call a daughter Rose.
Both given names and family names are gendered though they are gendered in different ways. Given names tell us what people expect of a baby. Family names tell us about an ancestor. Andrew calls for the baby to grow up strong. Bella calls for the baby to grow up beautiful. Baker tells us what an ancestor did for a living: he was a baker. Long tells us what an ancestor looked like: he was tall ... READ MORE