The Story of English

The Story of English : Third Revised Edition

4.07 (1,871 ratings by Goodreads)
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Now revised, The Story of English is the first book to tell the whole story of the English language. Originally paired with a major PBS miniseries, this book presents a stimulating and comprehensive record of spoken and written English--from its Anglo-Saxon origins some two thousand years ago to the present day, when English is the dominant language of commerce and culture with more than one billion English speakers around the world. From Cockney, Scouse, and Scots to Gulla, Singlish, Franglais, and the latest African American slang, this sweeping history of the English language is the essential introduction for anyone who wants to know more about our common tongue.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 468 pages
  • 134.62 x 203.2 x 27.94mm | 408.23g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised ed.
  • 0142002313
  • 9780142002315
  • 116,446

Table of contents

The Story of EnglishList of Maps
New Introduction to the Third Edition
Introduction: Speaking of English
1. An English-Speaking World
2. The Mother Tongue
3. A Muse of Fire
4. The Guid Scots Tongue
5. The Loaded Weapon
6. Black on White
7. Pioneers! O Pioneers!
8. The Echoes of an English Voice
9. The New Englishes
10. Next Year's Words
Notes and Sources
Select Bibliography
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Review quote

"Highly enjoyable...A first-rate introduction to one of the most fascinating of subjects." --The New York Times

"Rarely has the English language been scanned so brightly and broadly in a single volume." --The San Francisco Chronicle
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About Robert McCrum

Robert McCrum is the author of six novels and My Year Off: Rediscovering Life After a Stroke. Now literary editor of The Observer, he is working on an authorized biography of P. G. Wodehouse.

Robert MacNeil was the co-anchor of PBS's The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. His books include two volumes of memoirs and three novels including his latest, Breaking News.

William Cran is the executive producer for the television series The Story of English.
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Rating details

1,871 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 35% (664)
4 41% (773)
3 19% (353)
2 4% (67)
1 1% (14)
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