Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language

How did a tiny island, beset by wave after wave of conquerors, become the dominant power of one century, and then one of its colonies become the dominant power of another? Language.

Globish explores how English became English, how it spread, and how American English took over the world. The author also explores how a new kind of global English – Globish – will continue to conquer.

This is a fun story about language and its impact. The fact that English is so adaptable and eager to swipe words from other languages, that it’s the language of the people instead of the academy, is why it’s been so successful.

There are many anecdotes and signposts to the future of the language. Some posit that Chinese, on sheer numbers, will overtake English, but the writer makes a good case against it.

Admittedly, you have to be a bit of a language nerd to appreciate this book, but if you are, you’ll delight at it.

The Witches: Salem, 1692

You’ve heard the story before, the Salem witch trials, and you’ve heard many reasons why it happened. Now read the truth.

Stacy Schiff does a great job pulling you into the story of this crazy occurrence. Teen girls somehow captivated tiny Salem and accused moms, dads, friends and even clergy of witchcraft. And then the accused accused others.

Nobody got burned at the stake, but several were hanged, and one was crushed to death. In fact, those who confessed to being witches survived, but those that fought the charges were executed.

You experience the story pretty much as it happened, with all sides pitching in – and the sides at the time included many people who did believe something otherworldly was happening in Salem. The writing is blessedly free of the “we know better now” skepticism you might expect. This helps the story feel more real, since you read what was going on and what they thought was going on.

Let’s not pull any lessons for now from this – I know other reviewers have used the phrase “Age of Trump” or have tried to draw parallels with “The Handmaid’s Tale. ” That does this story injustice.

Read this and find out more about why America was the way it was at the end of the 17th century.