Excerpt: "The Common Tongue" / The Adventure of English - Melvyn Bragg
It would take two to three hundred years for English to become more than first among equals. From the beginning English was battle-hardened in strategies of survival and takeover. After the first tribes arrived it was not certain which dialect if any would become dominant... There had been luck, but also cunning and the beginnings of what was to become English's most subtle and ruthless characteristic of all: its capacity of absorbing others.
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