The Language of History

Chris Husbands, in What Is history teaching? Language, ideas and meaning in learning about the past (Open University Press, 1996), identifies four aspects of language, used by the discipline of history, that students should be exposed to:
  1. The language of historical time: e.g., era, century, decade, period, medieval, modern.
  2. The language of the past: specialist terminology: sexton, patron, journeyman, swagman, squatter, suffragist, puritan, and so on; and shifting language: republican, orders, classes, radical, innovator, and so on.
  3. The language of historical description and analysis: revolution, democracy, monarchy, nationalism, identity, economic depression, inflation, and so on.
  4. The language of historical processes: change, continuity, cause, effect, similarity, difference, and so on.