Combining internal linguistic history and external cultural history since the Middle Ages, this book presents an exploration of the history of the English language. It encourages students to develop an understanding of modern English and to develop an enlightened attitude towards questions affecting the language.… (more)
___1___ English Present and Future 1. The History of the English Language a Cultural Subject. It was observed by that remarkable twelfth-century chronicler Henry of Huntington that an interest in the past was one of the distinguishing characteristics of humans as compared with the other animals.
Preface [to the fourth edition by Thomas Cable] Before the present author ever became associated with Albert C. Baugh's A History of the English Language, several generations of teachers and students had appreciated its enduring qualities.
And Americans generally will subscribe to the sentiment with which the same scholar continues: "But is it too much to hope that one day this vast community of nations will possess a common 'standard English,' tolerant of minor local varieties...? There are many on both sides of the ocean who cherish this ideal and are eager to do all in their power to bring it nearer to fulfillment."