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The Adventure Of English - Melvyn Bragg

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English is the collective work of millions of people throughout the ages. It is democratic, ever-changing and ingenious in its assimilation of other cultures. English runs through the heart of world finance, medicine and the Internet, and it is understood by around two thousand million people across the world. Yet it was very nearly wiped out in its early years. In this book Melvyn Bragg shows us the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. THE ADVENTURE OF ENGLISH is not only an enthralling story of power, religion and trade, but also the story of people, and how their day-to-day lives shaped and continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.



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  • 2 years later...

I read it a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. In fact I loaned it to my dad straight after and haven't seen it since. There is a huge deluge of these kind of books and for me, Bragg's was the most enjoyable - he writes about English with a passion rather than with a chip on his shoulder.

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  • 14 years later...

I've just recently re-read this and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. As Bragg explains English is definitely a mixture of a chameleon and a magpie of a language. Constantly changing and updating itself, assimilating myriad words from languages all over the world. It always make me laugh (whilst also cringing and getting angry) when I hear a certain strand of society here in UK pontificating about their Englishness and how they don't want that to be diluted by 'foreigners' and all the time they are using a language which is made up of so many different languages and their surname is originally from another nation.  A highly enjoyable book, always informative and enlightening. 

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