Plenary by David Crystal

Session description

David Crystal

Session details:

Who would of thought it? The English language 1966-2066

Complaints about a supposed decline in standards of English continue to be made, with increasing frequency, in the British press. Although these are nothing new - as the long history of use of would of for would have illustrates - they do draw attention to the way we seem to be going through a period of unusually rapid language change. This paper illustrates the main changes in pronunciation, orthography, grammar, and vocabulary, discusses the chief factors involved - social mobility, globalization, and the Internet - and compares the changes that have taken place in the past fifty years with those that are likely to take place in the next fifty.

David Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor, and works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales, as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. He read English at University College London, specialized in English language studies, then joined academic life as a lecturer in linguistics, first at Bangor, then at Reading, where he became professor of linguistics. He received an OBE for services to the English language in 1995. Recent books include The Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary (with Ben Crystal), Making a point: the pernickety story of English punctuation, The disappearing dictionary, and The gift of the gab: how eloquence works. His current research is chiefly in applied historical English phonology, with particular reference to Shakespearean original pronunciation. He is the patron of IATEFL.

<iframe id="viddler-66d63270" src="//" width="437" height="344" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen></iframe>



Tamer Osman's picture

David Crystal's plenary is really interesting. Every time I attend one of his lectures, I learn a new information.Lucky will be who will refer to his plennary this year and the previous years.

For further comments, please refer to my blog:



David Crystal captivates his audience one more time with his presentation of language changes over the years, at present and those to come in the future. Check a list of some language changes at

This is my first time that I meet David Crystal.... His plenary was amazing ,,,,I am so happy to attend his plenary ...AGAIN THANKS DAVID CRYSTAL

Can anyone upload the right video for Prof David Crystal's plenary, please?



Apologies for the inconvenience - we're looking into this.

This has now been corrected

This is a rehash of a lecture that the esteemed professor has been doing for years. The main criticism here, though, is that the jokes, wisecracks and imitations get old. Of more concern is when he talks about fashion (slashkinis, winkle pickers) really show you up as a dirty old man. Turn it off, Prof!