A description of the horrors of the Battle of Trafalgar written by a barely-literate below-decks seaman is to be auctioned next month.A new theory on why it becomes more difficult to learn languages as we age:
The document describes the action of Britain's greatest naval victory from the point of view of Robert Sands, a 17-year-old "powder monkey" on the Temeraire.
Sands, from Rochester, Kent, was rated as "Boy, third class", the lowest form of life on a line-of-battle ship in Nelson's command.
His story opens with a description of the famous signal to the fleet sent by Nelson: "He said he oped that Everey man would doo his Duty this day for old Englands sake for it would be a gloureus day for them that lived to see the end of it."
Instead of language skills deteriorating with age, as was once thought, the brain becomes better at filtering out sounds which are not needed in the native tongue.A chocolate Elton John sculpture... *shudder*
As a result, adults do not recognise sounds which are vital to other languages because they have lost their childhood ability to hear small sound differences.