The Story of English is an Emmy Award-winning documentary series and the accompanying book, which together provide an in-depth look at the evolution of the English language. Written by Robert MacNeil, Robert McCrum, and William Cran in 1986, it has since been revised twice—in 1993 and 2002.
The series follows how English has developed from its humble beginnings as a Germanic dialect to one of the most dominant languages in the world today. It explores how different cultures have shaped and altered the language over time, delving into topics such as Latin influence on English vocabulary, Old French courtly language, Shakespeare’s works, early American English, and more. With engaging interviews with linguists and other experts in philology, The Story of English offers a captivating journey through centuries of linguistic history.
For those who wish to go beyond reading about the history of English and experience it firsthand, The Story of English is an excellent resource. It provides illuminating insights into how one of our most common languages has evolved through time and how its intricacies can be appreciated even today. Watching this documentary provides a unique opportunity to learn more about both language itself and how we use it to communicate with each other. Anyone interested in linguistics or curious about their own mother tongue will find this documentary enlightening: do not miss out!