- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Quercus (28 April 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857383280
- ISBN-13: 978-0857383280
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
The Story of English: How the English language conquered the world Paperback – 28 Apr 2011
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From the Back Cover
Born as a Germanic tongue with the arrival in Britain of the Anglo-Saxons in the early medieval period, heavily influenced by Norman French from the 11th century, and finally emerging as modern English from the late Middle Ages, the English language has grown to become the linguistic equivalent of a superpower.
Worldwide, some 380-million people speak English as a first language and some 600-million as a second language. A staggering one-billion people are believed to be learning it. English is the premier international language in communications, science, business, aviation, entertainment, diplomacy, and on the Internet. It is thought by many to be well on the way to becoming the world's first universal language.
Philip Gooden tells the story of the English language in all its richness and variety. From the intriguing origins and changing definitions of common words such as 'OK', 'berserk', 'curfew', 'cabal' and 'pow-wow', to the massive transformation wrought in the vocabulary and structure of the language by Anglo-Saxon and Norman conquest, through to the literary triumphs of Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales and the works of Shakespeare, right up to the profound and surprising effect electronic media have had on its development.
The Story of English is a fascinating tale of linguistic, social and cultural transformation, told accessibly and authoritatively.
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Top Customer Reviews
i was hoping to find out things like why new zealanders developed their accent, and the regional dialect changes in Britain but these were not really addressed
if anyone is interested there is a great podcast- thehistoryofenglish which goes into matters in much greater detail
I echo the sentiment of another reviewer that it would have been interesting to explore the development/diversion of English in the former colonies in more detail. This of course would have changed the tone of the book. As it stands, far more emphasis is placed on the development of the English language as opposed to its ascension as a global language - hence my previous comment regarding the title.
Nevertheless an enjoyable read which is also easy to follow despite the inherent dullness of explaining grammatical quirks. No small feat!
Only additional comment is the structure is somewhat odd. The book flows reasonably well but by the end it almost feels as if these were autonomous chapters arbitrarily strung together. This is perhaps more a comment on the last chapter specifically. I felt it was oddly placed and ended so abruptly with no real commentary on the overall significance of what gooden was trying to say. Somewhat disappointing and reason for 3 stars as opposed to 4
Gooden brings the whole story of English alive in an informative and amusing way, clearing up some of the myths and mysteries along the journey. My only concern is that I've gotten my grammar correct in this review. Lol!!!
Good value for £1.49 I would say.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unfortunately puchased in error at silly o'clock in the morning with no option to pull out. Ok reading.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
A fascinating read, very absorbing and informative, especially for anyone interested in how the English language came about.Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
The Story of English was written very clearly. it follows the development of the English Language through many changes and influences, and explains how it has become one of the... Read morePublished 21 months ago by B. M. Farrer
A good book that will make you see our wonderful language in a very different way! It makes you think about how our language evolved.Published 21 months ago by alison noble
A fascinating and very readable history of the emergence and development of the English Language. Why don't they teach this stuff in school?Published 23 months ago by Tweedledum
coudn't resist the offer considering my interest for languages! the shipping was fast and proffesional
the item arrived in perfect condition and It is exactly what I expected
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