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Download The Story of English in 100 Words Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Story of English in 100 Words, by David Crystal Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (384 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Crystal Narrator: David Crysta Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.”


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by Patty | 1/26/2014

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

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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.