Letter: 'Americanism' was used by Chaucer

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was surprised that a drama teacher was apparently unaware that the expression 'I guess' is far from being a recent Americanisation of our language (28 June). As an A- level student some 15 years ago I was delighted to find Chaucer's Wife of Bath saying:

Poverty is hateful good and, as I gesse,

A ful greet bryngere out of bisynesse;

However the one thing that my excellent English teacher impressed on me is the fact that our language is so rich because it is not stagnant but a living language and is always moving and growing.

No doubt in a couple of hundred years' time people will be mourning quaint 20th-century phrases like 'missing you already']



Gorleston, Norfolk