The Story of English in 100 Words

Front Cover
St. Martin's Publishing Group, Mar 27, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 284 pages
The world’s foremost expert on the English language takes us on an entertaining and eye-opening tour of the history of our vernacular through the ages.

In The Story of English in 100 Words, an entertaining history of the world’s most ubiquitous language, David Crystal draws on one hundred words that best illustrate the huge variety of sources, influences and events that have helped to shape our vernacular since the first definitively English word—“roe”—was written down on the femur of a roe deer in the fifth century. Featuring ancient words (“loaf”), cutting edge terms that reflect our world (“twittersphere”), indispensable words that shape our tongue (“and,” “what”), fanciful words (“fopdoodle”) and even obscene expressions (the “c word”), David Crystal takes readers on a tour of the winding byways of our language via the rude, the obscure and the downright surprising.

“From pre-eminent British linguist Crystal . . . comes this delightful history of the words we use (and some we’ve forgotten) and how we came to use them. . . . Crystal’s enthusiasm for—and wealth of knowledge about—the ever-evolving English language makes this a must-read for word lovers.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the author (2012)

DAVID CRYSTAL, is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. In 1995, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to the English language. He lives in the United Kingdom.

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