Main menu

How English Became English

The English Language is spoken by more than a billion people throughout the world. But where did English come from? And how has it evolved into the language used today? 

Simon Horobin (Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Oxford) explores these questions with Faramerz Dabhoiwala (Associate Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford), Martin Wynne (Digital Methods Specialist, Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford) and Philip Durkin (Deputy Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary) in a discussion centered around his new book 'How English Became English'.

The discussion is chaired by Susie Dent (English lexicographer and etymologist. Host of Countdown's "Dictionary Corner") and touches on topics as wide-ranging as cultural imperialism, snobbery, bullet points, Shakespeare, toilet brushes and alphabetti spaghetti.