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Download The Story of English in 100 Words Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Story of English in 100 Words Audiobook, by David Crystal Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 5 3.67 (18 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Crystal Narrator: David Crystal Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2012 ISBN: 9781482963182
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In this unique new history of the world’s most ubiquitous language, linguistics expert David Crystal draws on words that best illustrate the huge variety of sources, influences, and events that have helped to shape our vernacular since the first definitively English word was written down in the fifth century (“roe,” in case you are wondering). Featuring Latinate and Celtic words, weasel words and nonce-words, ancient words (“loaf”) to cutting-edge words (“twittersphere”), and spanning the indispensable words that shape our tongue (“and,” “what”) to the more fanciful (“fopdoodle”), Crystal takes us along the winding byways of language via the rude, the obscure, and the downright surprising.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Crystal’s enthusiasm for—and wealth of knowledge about—the ever-evolving English language makes this a must-read for word lovers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A delight you shouldn’t miss…Ideal for the commute or a daily round, Crystal’s one hundred brisk chapters are uniquely suited for audiobook consumption, rich in pith and humor, and a total treat.”

    AudioFile

  • “Throughout, Crystal highlights the playfulness of English and its refusal to take itself too seriously. Snack-sized chapters with banquet-sized satisfaction.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, April2012

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth Turk | 1/30/2014

    " Some interesting information, but a little dry overall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jiz Lee | 1/29/2014

    " Concise, amusing look at the evolution and nuances of English words and phrases. I found myself looking at the language in new ways. Lots of fun factoids and a quick read, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/27/2014

    " This book was really interesting! It may confuse some American English speakers though as it seems to focus more upon British English--and there are surprising differences! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patty | 1/26/2014

    " Entertaining. Small nuggets of info on English words. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer May | 1/11/2014

    " One of my favourite David Crystal books, although I have only read a few. I haven't read any wordbooks before, but I loved how Crystal organised them chronologically and used each word to say something different about language in that century. Overall, a fascinating read, much more exciting than the usual 'History of English' books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffin-Seneca Public | 1/7/2014

    " This is a fun little book that takes 100 common (and some not-so-common) words and devotes 2-3 pages on the development of each. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 1/3/2014

    " An interesting concept developed in a very readable way. I liked the structure of each essay (the writing teacher in me noticed some patterns), but more than that I liked the voice: interesting tidbits about the English language told by someone who knows a lot and really enjoys the subject. It was clear Crystal was having fun. As a consequence, the reader does, too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pancha | 12/29/2013

    " A fun quick read that delves into the history of English through the focus if 100 specific words. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth Adamson | 10/16/2013

    " I found this very interesting - but not everyone would. It fulfilled interests of mine in linguistics and history, in an entertaining and concise manner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 9/23/2013

    " This was fine but stuck in an awkward middle ground -- not fun enough to be a light diversion but not technical enough to dig deep into. A scattering of interesting facts, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim Jokl | 8/28/2013

    " Just a little more academic and quite a lot less amusing than The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clarissa | 4/16/2013

    " This was an interesting book about the evolution of words in the English language, and where words come from. I was especially interested in the earlier words, but some of the more modern words like Robot were interesting too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Hollingshead | 2/16/2013

    " Excellent! By telling 100 mini stories about individual words, the author leads us to intuit the whole process of language formation and learn some history alongside. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roland Bruno | 2/9/2013

    " Word history books tend to slip into tangents. It's a part of the deal and this title is firmly in that camp. The premise behind it was strong but tangentitis interfered with my enjoyment. The few times the author limited himself or restrained himself, the stories were amusing and enlightening. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/24/2013

    " This is an interesting book, but I wouldn't call it entertaining. I enjoyed reading it in little bits - a few words at a time. Crystal does accomplish his goal of exploring the history and evolution of the English language through describing these 100 words. Definitely a book worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Beth | 12/1/2012

    " A little bit addicted to David Crystal and his meandering descriptions of how English has come to be. This book is so easy to read, it's a treat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen M. | 11/9/2012

    " Great, fun read about the history of the English language. Definitely made me want to read more in-depth works by this author! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Dougherty | 11/8/2012

    " Excellent read! If you're a word-lover (logophile?) you'll find it entertaining and fascinating. "

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About the Author

David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. In 1995 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to the English language. He lives in the United Kingdom.