The story begins with the obscure dialects of the German tribes who settled in Britain during the fifth century. They wiped out the native tongue of the Celts which was replaced by what we call Old English. This adapted and expanded after the Norman conquest, Caxton's printing press, the Renaissance, the age of Shakespeare, the Industrial Revolution, and the age of imperialism. English has never been static or stagnant and continues to change during the age of the Internet and mobile phones.
Follow the extraordinary journey of the most widely spoken language in the world, discover its many influences and learn about how it has evolved. From the Anglo-Saxons in the fifth century to the Normans in the eleventh, and on to present-day America, many diverse elements and languages have shaped modern-day English. Divided chronologically, this fascinating guide follows the language from Latin - and earlier - influences, through Old and Middle English to Early Modern and, finally, today's Late Modern English. The Story of English also explores, among much else, the history of the printing press, the works of Chaucer, the evolution of the dictionary, the use of slang in speech and the coming of electronic messaging. Wide-ranging and scrupulously researched, this is both a celebration of and a tribute to the most expressive, and yet adaptable, language in history.