Corrosive humour scuttles British myths

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Cathy Macleod at, 1 July 2009. Like many others, I use and love the English language. Today it is the world language, predominant in science, trade and politics. And maybe it always was predominant. At least in Europe.
This mind-blowing idea presents itself in an outrageous book first published in 2002 by a small London publisher, Nathan Carmody, and only now making big global waves.
"The History of Britain Revealed" by Michael John Harper Ph.D is funny to read, insulting to Academia, and logical in its main argument. This is stated as:
1. The present British population has no Anglo-Saxon content (save for some insignificant inbreeding).
2. The English language has no Anglo-Saxon content (save for some similarly insignificant loanwords).
Delightfully corrosive in demolishing accepted historical and linguistic beliefs, the author dismisses fellow scholars as "highly-educated fools". Equally perplexing for literary savants, he writes: "A prerequisite for working on the Oxford English Dictionary is a degree in English Literature, which might explain why most of its several million entries are wrong."

The author describes himself as an Applied Epistemologist, i.e. a philosopher who specialises in the methods, validity and scope of human knowledge. But is Harper himself wrong in his history and his linguistics? Not according to the common sense he applies. The cherished national myths of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France take a battering that could eventually prove terminal.
"Historians have got it completely wrong," he says.
The original small publisher, Nathan Carmody, has been reinforced by Icon Books of Cambridge, with an expanded hardback in 2006 and a paperback in 2007. Since then, sellers have spread to include Allen&Unwin, Penguin, Faber&Faber and others. The acorn has grown to a huge oaktree.
At we could not find this title in ebook format, but the Web is buzzing with its audacity.
I did discover a related website,, where enthusiasts debate new theories, and where "rudeness is permitted so long as it's funny".

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