People put other people down in order to puff themselves up,

and so does language. The great English vowel shift in the 15th century made sure that leaning ‘proper’ English would be a trial by fire and that only the fittest would survive. With French no longer the language of government and pretentiousness, the upper classes had no quick easy way to prove they were better than the smiths, bakers, millers, carpenters, and Joneses. So they formed their own dialect of English. Only they knew the code. Long I’s became long E’s, long E’s became long A’s, and short and long vowels separated entirely, rendering the concept largely meaningless, though still taught, at least as of my tenure. In reality, a system of dual pronunciation for each vowel was adopted, similar to the Khmer system of ‘registers’. It was complicated, but easier than learning Latin, now that French was out of favor, never to be united with England regardless of who’s the reigning monarch. Latin came in vogue at the same time, but more as a language of writing, than of speech. Spoken Latin had long since become Italian and other bastard mutations, much of the changes from classical Latin occurring even before the Empire fell.

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