The English Project



Written and spoken English has changed many times since Shakespeare’s day. (Pic by Andreas Praefcke )

The English Language, in all its dialects and accents, reaches far and wide across the globe. Some speak English as their first language, some their second or third.  But all have an influence on the way the English language develops and changes through the generations and across the continents.

If you are interested in the history and future of the English language, you need to visit The English Project!

HomeTo paraphrase from their ‘what we are’ page, they promote awareness and understanding of the story of the English language, past, present and future.  It is a registered charity and their flagship project is to create a visitor attraction devoted to the English language based in Winchester, Hampshire, UK.

Interesting Fact!

Did you know that “ough” can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.



The project began in 2009 when the first English Language Day was launched.  This has been followed up every October since then; this year, in remembrance of World War I, the day  focused on the language of war.  Plans are already underway for next year!

The project are always looking for volunteers too so get along to and find out how to get involved!


Accent on accents

talking-proper-978144724969601Last Monday, I heard David Crystal talk at the University of Winchester!  He has recently co-authored a book with his son, Ben Crystal called You say potato.   The talk was very informative and funny but David also spoke about a project currently running to track accents.  In order to do this, they are recording as many people as possible saying the word POTATO.    To date (October 17th 2014), the project has collected 592 ways of saying this single word.

No matter where you are in the world, as long as you can access the internet, you can join in too!

Visit and get your accent on the map!

There is a host of famous accents already there! It is fascinating to hear this word being said in so many different ways.

The Crystals’ book can be purchased from the website and a host of other sites including Amazon and Waterstones.