My friend TS asked for suggestions. He is looking for a good book to buy with his Christmas money, about roots of the English language. I told him I would be back with some suggestions.
After some research and study, I have decided that I will recommend that TS buy the hardback version of the Oxford Companion to the English Language. It was edited by Tom McArthur, who is one of the world’s foremost experts on the English language(s).
He could buy it in a paperback concise edition beginning at about 64 cents from Amazon. Or he could buy a brand new one from Amazon in the hardback edition for about $70 or so. If I had some Christmas money earmarked for books, I would buy a shiny new hardback one and be very excited about it! Here is a link to information about the book on Amazon.
Three other books that I am sure would be excellent choices are The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language by David Crystal; A History of the English Language by Albert C. Baugh; and The Origins and Development of the English Language by John Algeo and Thomas Pyles. Too, if TS doesn’t have one, I’d suggest he buy a good unabridged dictionary--a big fat one.
These books are all published by the most highly respected publishers in this field, especially
If somebody gave me enough money, I’d buy all four of them and consider them to be great treasures!