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The Adventure of English:
The Biography of a Language
February 28, 2010
Just finished reading The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language by Melvyn Bragg. William gave it to us for Christmas.

The book traces the history of the English language from about 500 AD. As his title implies, Bragg treats English as a living organism, feeding off its environment and spreading across the globe like kudzu. He portrays the adventure of English against larger historical backdrops: the Norman Invasion, the Protestant Reformation, the discovery of the new world, the Raj; giving his narrative the aura of a historical romance. The only thing that slows him down are the long lists of words that appear on every other page. (I imagine his office filled with scraps of paper, each with a word and historical period written on it). I did learn one thing from his lists, though, the Australian phrase for farting – 'shooting a fairy'.