By Julian Walker
Shire Publications, Paperback, 9780747807490, 126pp.
Publication Date: October 20, 2009
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This book presents the histories of some common words, showing how they have arrived at their present use and form. Entries are grouped into nearly twenty subject areas, such as home, transport, food; for each word the author shows how it was built from existing words, or how a root word in another language has been taken borrowed by English at a given point in history. Some of the voyages are via many other languages, some direct; some of them are extraordinary, some deceptively simple. Changes of spelling and meaning over time are presented, and where there are disagreements about where a word has come from these are discussed. The material is presented clearly and simply, and is supported by references within the text to previous writers and dictionaries.