Originally published in 1976 by legendary Welsh novelist and critic Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society offers a fascinating and timeless lens on language from a cultural rather than etymological standpoint, examining the history of over 100 familiar yet misunderstood or ambiguous words, from ‘art’ to ‘nature’ to ‘welfare’ to ‘originality.’
The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher || Great read for those of us who have a passing interest in linguistics. It doesn't linger on the mechanics, it's focused more on the speculative history--which is precisely what I prefer. It doesn't read like a dry college text, it is written for laypeople (i.e., dumbed-down for folks like me, thank goodness).
As beautiful as the English language may be, it isn’t without insufficiencies. C. J. Moore’s curates the most poetic of them — rich words and phrases from other langauges that don’t have an exact translation in English, but convey powerful, deeply human concepts, often unique to the experience of the culture from which they came.