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The Story of English : How the English Language Conquered the World by Philip Gooden
  

The Story of English : How the English Language Conquered the World

Biography / Autobiography   Books of the Month   The Real World   eBook Favourites   
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May 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.

The extraordinary story of the development and spread of the English language, from Dark Age Britain to the age of the Internet. The Story of English is a fascinating tale of linguistic, social and cultural transformation, and one that is accessibly and authoritatively told by an author in perfect command of his material.

Synopsis

The Story of English : How the English Language Conquered the World by Philip Gooden

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, and is now sometimes described as the world's lingua franca. 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, and diplomacy and also on the Internet. It has been one of the official languages of the United Nations since its founding in 1945. It is considered by many good judges to be well on the way to becoming the world's first universal language. Author 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', 'beserk', 'curfew', 'cabal' and 'pow-wow', to the massive transformations 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.

Reviews

A handy pocket guide. --PublishersWeekly.com

[The Story of English] is a thoroughly engaging historical introduction to a dynamic language. Booklist A handy pocket guide. PublishersWeekly.com


About the Author

Philip Gooden

Philip Gooden is the author of The Guinness Guide to Better English and the editor of The Mammoth Book of Literary Anecdotes.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th April 2011

Author

Philip Gooden

More books by Philip Gooden
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

www.philipgooden.com/

Publisher

Quercus Publishing Plc

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
Books of the Month
The Real World
eBook Favourites

Language: history & general works

ISBN

9780857383280

Publisher Profile

Quercus Publishing Plc is an imprint of Quercus

logo Quercus publisher
Starting out in a small office in Dorset Street, London, the company quickly expanded, producing best sellers with each of its first two titles, Universe and Speeches that Changed the World.

As well as winning awards for their books Quercus also won Small Publisher of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards and the PLUS New Company fo the Year in the Fast Growth Business Awards.

Publisher's Website

www.quercusbooks.co.uk

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