Mother Tongue : The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
'More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to...'Only Bill Bryson could make a book about the English language so entertaining. With his boundless enthusiasm and restless eye for the absurd, this is his astonishing tour of English. From its mongrel origins to its status as the world's most-spoken tongue; its apparent simplicity to its deceptive complexity; its vibrant swearing to its uncertain spelling and pronunciation, Bryson covers all this as well as the many curious eccentricities that make it as maddening to learn as it is flexible to use.
Bill Bryson's classic Mother Tongue is a highly readable and hilarious tale of how English came to be the world's language.