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How English Became English


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Table of Contents

1: What is English? 2: Origins 3: Authority 4: Standards 5: Varieties 6: Global English 7: Why do we care?

About the Author

Simon Horobin is Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Magdalen College. He has written extensively on the history, structure, and uses of the English language. He is the author of Does Spelling Matter? (OUP, 2013) and a number of books on the history of English, and the language of Chaucer.


Simon Horobin's marvellous How English Became English ... should be handed to every pedant you know. * Jonathan Wright, Books of the Year 2016, Catholic Herald *
In this concise narrative of the history of the English language, Horobin analyzes historical context just enough to unfurl the object called 'English.' * Library Journal, starred review *
A happy mixture of scholarship, clear writing, and humour * Kirkus *
There's a lot of detailed information in this succinct book and it's very readable * Susan Elkin, Independent on Sunday *
informative and entertaining new book * Oliver Kamm, The Times *
Horobin is ... on a laudable and ... interesting mission to educate the wider public. * Faramerz Dabhoiwala, Guardian *
We all have our hobbyhorses when it comes to the finer points of English grammar. Simon Horobin's witty book provides the antidote to our pedantry. * Jonathan Wright, Herald *
Horobin's succinctness is impressive * Times Literary Supplement *
Distilling an inexhaustible topic into 170 short pages. Horobin gives an unstuffy guide to the descent, dialects and global diversification of English. Pragmatic rather than pedantic, he eschews grammarian finger-wagging in favour of some pointers on why we still care about getting it 'right'. * Oxford Today *
this book was as good as expected * The Bookbag *
Horobin clearly loves the English language, but unlike many self-proclaimed language experts, he is not fearful of what the future of English may hold ... How English Became English reminds me what it was that I found so fascinating about the English language. * Jenny Hallquist, Babel *

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