Should you be in London before April 3, I urge you to visit the Evolving English exhibition in the basement of the British Library on Euston Road.

It’s absolutely fascinating for anyone with even the slightest interest in the English language. From old old books to wartime posters, it really shows how English has developed.

I went yesterday but only had time to sample a small section before closing time. My highlight was the manuscript (in Middle English) of a 13th century round for 6 singers to welcome the changing of seasons, called Sumer Is Icumen In. The lyrics include an early written recording of the word “fart”.

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