From the list on words and their history.
Who am I?
I grew up in a bilingual environment (Welsh and English) and have been fascinated by languages ever since, and the way they reflect thought, culture, and history. An English degree course at University College London gave me an academic grounding in language and literature, and I've been exploring and writing on those subjects ever since, eventually as a professor of linguistics, and these days as an independent scholar. My website provides a complete list of my publications, along with links to other materials. And the most fascinating thing about language? Its diversity and change. Whatever a language was like yesterday, it's different today, and will be different again tomorrow.
David's book list on words and their history
Why did David love this book?
The important word in the title is "social." The author brings together words that belong to a particular theme, such as journalism, economics, and politics. An example? A 'historical menu' from Anglo-Saxon times (bread, butter, cucumber) through Shakespearean times (tomato, potato, banana) to the present-day (pizza, tacos, hamburger). And not forgetting drinks, from beer to Coca-Cola. It's a fascinating exercise in the linguistic archaeology of social transformation.