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The Story of English [Library Binding]

Robert McCrum , Robert MacNeil , William Cran
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 28.53 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

June 5 2008 1435297644 978-1435297647 Reprint
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.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Library Journal

A tie-in for a nine-part television series to be broadcast over PBS beginning in September, this is a wide-ranging account of the travels and changes of the English tongue from its beginnings to tomorrow, from England to America to Australia to Africa and India and the Pacific. Despite an occasionally perceptible British bias, the authors have tried hard to paint a colorful, vivid picture of the many faces and varieties of English. The text is never dull, but is enlivened by innumerable examples and by interviews with representative individuals: a minister in Scotland, a couple from the Appalachians, a storekeeper in Newfoundland, a Philadelphia shoeshine man, a cockney fruitseller, an Australian farm family, the president of Sierra Leone, a writing professor in India. A readable book that all public libraries should have. BOMC alternate. Catherine V. von Schon, SUNY, Stony Brook
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'A modern classic.' Sunday Times 'A first-rate introduction to one of the most fascinating of subjects.' The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Twenty years ago, when I was working with William Cran and Robert MacNeil on the research and development stage of the television series that, initially, accompanied the book, not one of us suspected that the linguistic phenomenon were analysing - global English - was on the brink of becoming a worldwide sensation. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read - - nice pictures Dec 25 2000
This book is a very readable and well researched introduction to the history of the English language. It contains a great deal of material about the many varieties of English, including separate chapters on Irish English, Scots English, American English, Caribbean English, and Australian and South African English. The photographs and maps that are featured throughout the book are excellent. The maps provide invaluable insights to the historical processes of change, and the pictures make the history come alive. In some places, it is clear that the book was written as a companion to the TV series, when the narrative takes us to an interview with a dialect speaker and then falls flat. If you have access to the video, the motivation for these interviews is much more clear when you can hear the person talk. This book would be excellent for the general reader; it would also make a good textbook for an introductory course on the development of English.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended! May 13 1999
I picked up this book out of a longstanding curiosity about the English language and I cannot put it down! I am not a native speaker of English -- although I had my first contact with (Brittish) English at the age of six -- and this book was a pleasant surprise! It reveals the multitudinous forces that have shaped the English language and its numerous variants since the very beginning until today. It also presents the relation between language and culture quite eloquently; the story of English is very interesting precisely because the story of its speakers throughout the world is so rich! Anyway, if you are curious like me, then pick the book up yourself and read it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic overview Aug. 6 2000
This is a wonderfully readable overview of the history of the English language, but very indepth as well. I highly recommend it. Perhaps the only problem with it is its size, but this allows for great maps and photos which help you follow along with the text. The greatest thing about it is that it isn't just a story of English, but of "Englishes."
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of English Nov. 28 1999
I first discovered this book at a local library's used-book sale. I found it fascinating and informative. As an elementary schoolteacher, I have used portions of it for reference and lessons. In this nation of immigrants, anyone with even a mild interest in language will find this book highly entertaining and educational!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff! May 3 2000
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the English language and it's orgins. As an English teacher I have found the book to be a usefull reference and teaching tool. The book is also written clearly and in lay language so anyone can understand it.
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