After Old English (spoken roughly
600-1100) and Middle English
(1100-1500) came Modern English (sometimes abbreviated ModE),
which runs from the Renaissance
to the present. Although at first glance Shakespeare (who wrote
around 1600) may look distant from what we speak today, he in
fact spoke Modern English: older forms like "thou" and "dost"
survived a few centuries into the period of ModE.
Modern English is distinguished largely by the abandonment of the
many inflections that were still part
of Middle English.
From the Guide to Literary Terms by Jack Lynch.
Please send comments to Jack Lynch.
Note: This guide is still in the early stages of development.
Three question marks mean I have to write more on the subject. Bear with me.