English Language
Roman Empire

What can you infer about the influence of mythology on the English language?

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March 14, 2011 2:25PM


Think for a sec... the only 'history-books' that existed before

paper were stories. Eventually, paper was invented, and of course,

these stories were written onto paper. After the books had been

read so much, parts of it slowly became part of literature, and

when traders from these countries traveled to England with their

language and spoke it in bars and on docks and ships, it slowly

crept into the English language.


The first answer addresses the 'how', but what I can infer

about this influence? That language evolves over time, like a

snowball rolling down a hill. It starts with a ball formed by

gathering snow and bits of artifact from the place that it's

formed. As it rolls down the hill, it picks up more snow and

whatever artifacts (pine needles, bits of grass or weeds, seeds,

stones, etc.) it encounters along its path. As it gets heavier and

the terrain changes, chunks of snow with accompanying artifacts get

knocked off while new is being added. Perhaps a chunk or two will

start a new snowball rolling down a different path or just lands in

that spot. Eventually it comes to rest with all of it bits and


Language travels from generation to generation and from place to

place. At the time the language and its contemporaries were written

down and passed around, the ancient mythologies were dominant

features of those societies. Each society that the English language

has passed through adds words and references of their culture and

society. This is why we don't speak the language of Julius Caesar

or even Shakespeare. Consider all of the technology based words and

terms that have come into common use that didn't exist when I

learned English in school in the 1950s. I didn't even have to

google (use a search engine) to add this answer.

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