The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language
It begins with various sections describing the development of the language from Old English before moving its attention to English vocabulary. The next section deals with English grammar and this is followed by various sections looking at other elements of English usage.
Although the book has a vast amount of information in its 485 large pages, it is written in an informative and chatty style and should be accessible to the general reader who has an interest in the subject. In the introduction Crystal says that his intention was not to create a book to be read from cover to cover, but rather to produce something to be dipped into at leisure. While it is not explicitly intended for English language teachers, any teacher who has read it will feel significantly more confident when responding to students' questions about the minutiae and history of the language they teach.
- ISBN 0 521 401798 Hardback
- ISBN 0 521 596556 Paperback