Fascinating subject. David Crystal has written many books on language which any interested person would find enlightening.
We're all lucky to speak English (or in some cases, a version of.....). It is by far the most intricate and developed language there is, and the reason there are so many alternative quite unrelated words with roughly the same meaning is the many origins English has. American English has been greatly diluted because it developed as a utilitarian way of communicating for people whose native languages were something different, with subtley going out of the window. Modern rapid communications are a great levelling force, and I for one hope that in 100 years English hasn't been greatly downgraded.