Learn Something New Every Day — Comparative Philology
Philology is the empirical study of how language changes (a combo of literary study, linguistics and history). Literally it’s the ‘love of literature’. And comparative philologists are experts in using surviving language to determine old languages. Think of it as the ‘palaeontology of language’.
The Grimm Brothers were deemed the founding fathers of Philology and amongst their many accomplishments, they spent 14 years on a dictionary which they then published in instalments but ran out of time before their deaths. The dictionary included a history and analysis of every single word in it.
The History of the English Language is a university level course courtesy of TheGreatCourses.com and is available as a podcast, CD or DVD