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Excavating English Paperback – August 1, 2013
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And when you get to the end, you will have quite a picture of how our language came to be what it is. The whole story, from the shores of the Black Sea four thousand years ago, through the diaspora throughout the western world and the extraordinary family tree of Indo-European languages, the migration to Britain, the invasions of Romans, Angles, Saxons and Normans, to the bewildering variety of dialects in 21st century international English. It gives you a keen appreciation for just how much history is packed into every word of English, every idiosyncratic spelling, every weird verb ending.
The book's target audience is middle-schoolers, but it is no less fascinating or rewarding for those of us who were in middle school decades ago.