The Story of English: How an Obscure Dialect Became the World's Most-Spoken Language Hardcover – 6 Sep 2012
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In The Story of English follow the extraordinary journey of the most widely spoken language in the world, discover its many influences and learn about how it has evolved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Joseph Piercy has an MA (Hons) in English Literature from Wolverhampton University, and is the author of two previous books.
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Top Customer Reviews
He betrays an ignorance of general knowledge and a lack of research which might have been sorted if a friend had read through the manuscript first (or is it an indictment of the subediting these days?). To give two examples: he refers (twice) to the "Archbishop of London" (no such person - did he mean the Bishop of London or the Archbishop of Canterbury or York?) and he tells us that Francis Bacon was made a life peer - which would have been interesting as the Life Peerages Act was passed in 1958. (Bacon was made a baron in 1618 and a viscount in 1621. He died without an heir and the titles died with him, so in a sense perhaps he was a life peer, but he was given an hereditary peerage!)
So feel free to read for some interesting facts, but better not rely on it too much.
In fact, the book starts by looking at Celtic languages that were spoken in what is now England prior to the invasions by Angles, Saxons and Jutes, noting that the Romans had their own language that never replaced those Celtic languages, but that the Germanic tribes brought their languages with them and almost made the Celtic languages extinct.
As the centuries progressed, first the Vikings. and then the Normans came, but the Germanic languages that evolved into Anglo-Saxon continued to evolve, absorbing Viking words and Norman French words along the way. Further developments in technology, imperialism, industry and technology caused further changes. There were times when the English language might have become extinct, but it proved to be remarkably resilient before emerging eventually as one of the dominant world languages.
Along the way, the role of royalty, the Church, various editions of the bible, some writers (especially Chaucer and Shakespeare) and other influences are all discussed.Read more ›
Simply written in clear language it has opened my eyes to the beauty and complexity of the words I use every day
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting story on the English language and the history a dialect that has come to dominate world business and much of the modern world and one of the most widely spoken... Read morePublished 9 months ago by dix-neuf
If you are interested in this then it is either the first book you have owned on the subject or you are making a worthwhile addition to your collection.Published 12 months ago by wizz
My main gripe is that the book doesn't actually deliver what the subtitle says. It's well-enough written, but ratherly thinly populated with information and facts, and it seemed... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ian Smith
I knew I liked the book having borrowed it from a friend. I was delighted to be able to get if for the price as even with P&P is was still excellent value for money.Published on 17 Aug. 2013 by Annette
This was a very interesting read. I learnt some new facts about the origins of the language and it was well structured.Published on 30 Mar. 2013 by K. Rayment
Excellent. If you want a literary essay or criticism stretching to a twenty one words or more then I will require a fee of twenty guineas!Published on 11 Jan. 2013 by Vivian