A really interesting book on the subject is The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. You will learn fascinating things about English including, among many others, that the single most understood word in the entire world is an English one. And it is an artificial word, invented by a bunch of upper middle class school boys in Boston at the turn of the century (19th to 20th).
You'll also learn how we ended up making plurals with an 's' rather than the Anglo Saxon way, by adding an 'en'. Interestingly enough there are still at least four words we still make plural with an 'en'