The book I read to research this post was Made In America by Bill Bryson which is an excellent book which I bought from a car boot sale. This book is an affectionate and quite witty look at the development of the English language and American culture & the history of the United States. Many people regard Eric the Red the viking of first discovering America and he did discover Greenland and Iceland with the former having a colony of 4,000 vikings for many years. One problem was in both places there were few if any trees and so they had no means of building or repairing ships. It’s interesting to note if you island hop from Northern Europe to America there is no more than 250 miles of open sea if done correctly. Also the southern tip of Greenland is further south than Oslo and you could grow a limited amount of crops there. When the Pilgrim Fathers went to America the poem about it was actually written by a Welsh lady many years later from a story that was on the newspaper her chips were wrapped in. They did not land at Plymouth Sound which is way above the high tide mark and are unlikely to have even noticed that piece of rock. In the 18th century so many Brits were going to America the government decided to curb it and from then on for some years it was mostly people from Wales, Scotland & Ireland known as Ulster. In fact most emigration was from places like France & Germany. When the Wright Brothers made the first flight in 1903 they weren’t particularly publicity seeking and many didn’t know about it. They weren’t that wealthy and had literally built the plane which in them days was known as a flying machine in their spare time as a hobby. No museum in America would display the plane because they were quite snobbish about it and for many years it was displayed on loan to the Science Museum in London. If we go back to the Pilgrim Fathers there language was very different to our own with for example them pronoucing the e at the end of words and often using an i with in words instead of an e. The word bit came from the Spanish word for bit. The word gringo came from the word greek as used in the phrase it’s all greek to me meaning a language you can’t understand. I really enjoyed this book especially some of the more outlandish ideas like people dining on the wings of planes and a mail order course in capturing renegade indians, the adverts of which are in the book.