How did English become a global language? What exactly is Standard English? What do slips of the tongue reveal about language? Studying the English Language answers these questions and many more. Organised into eighteen thematic chapters, each of which can be read at one sitting, this is a clear and lively introduction to the diversity and history of English, and to relevant contemporary and classic work in linguistics. Thoroughly updated and revised, this second edition contains three new chapters, on the story of American English, the spread of English across the world and the work of Noam Chomsky. Wide ranging and easy to use, other topics include the effects of dialect and accent on identity, swearing and offensive names in English, language and gender, language planning and theories about the origin of language. Full of entertaining examples, illustrations and useful guides to further reading, this is the ideal companion for all those new to the study of the English language, and essential reading for anyone with a general interest in the subject.