In this very interesting essay John McWhorter takes a look on a few of the historic roots of the English language and how it was influenced over the years. I'm really fascinated by etymology and enjoy reading about the intricacies of a language. Just take a look at this example:
Especially noteworthy here are the culinary transformations: we kill a cow or a pig (English) to yield beef or pork(French). Why? Well, generally in Norman England, English-speaking labourers did the slaughtering for moneyed French speakers at table.