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“Hitchings here provides a colorful, thematic history of the English language . . . Hitchings is a fine writer with an eye for the illustrative detail . . . With ninety-plus pages of notes, sources, and useful indexes, this is fine choice for libraries and a ‘smorgasbord’ for language aficionados. Highly recommended.”--E. L. Battistella, Choice
“A rich and readable history.”--The Boston Globe
“Astonishing . . . Every page of The Secret Life of Words is stuffed with rewards. . .Painstakingly detailed, closely argued and suffused with a contagious enthusiasm.”--Daily Telegraph (UK)
“A galloping history of English-speaking people and lists of words they have borrowed or invented.”--The New York Sun
"Filled with fascinating nuggets."--The Independent (UK)
"A delightful book."--The Roanoke Times