Modern English (sometimes New English as opposed to Middle English and Old English) is the form of the English language spoken since the Great Vowel Shift in England, completed in roughly 1550.
With some differences in vocabulary, texts from the early 17th century, such as the works of William Shakespeare and the King James Bible, are considered to be in Modern English, or more specifically, are referred to as using Early Modern English or Elizabethan English. English was adopted in regions around the world, such as North America, the Indian subcontinent, Africa, Australia and New Zealand through colonisation by the British Empire.
Modern English has a large number of dialects spoken in diverse countries throughout the world. This includes American English, Australian English, British English, Canadian English, Caribbean English, Hiberno-English, Indo-Pakistani English, Nigerian English, New Zealand English, Philippine English, Singaporean English, and South African English.
According to the Ethnologue, there are over 1 billion speakers of English as a first or second language as of 1999. English is spoken in a vast number of territories including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore and Southern Africa. Its large number of speakers, plus its worldwide presence, have made English a common language for use in such diverse applications as controlling aircraft, developing software, conducting international diplomacy, and business relations.
Famous quotes containing the words modern and/or english:
“The complaint ... about modern steel furniture, modern glass houses, modern red bars and modern streamlined trains and cars is that all these objets modernes, while adequate and amusing in themselves, tend to make the people who use them look dated. It is an honest criticism. The human race has done nothing much about changing its own appearance to conform to the form and texture of its appurtenances.”
—E.B. (Elwyn Brooks)
“If English is spoken in heaven ... God undoubtedly employs Cranmer as his speechwriter. The angels of the lesser ministries probably use the language of the New English Bible and the Alternative Service Book for internal memos.”
—Charles, Prince Of Wales (b. 1948)