More than a million words, weird spellings, words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently or vice versa. Where on Earth did the English language come from? The answer is that English isn't just the speech of one nation. It's the memory of thousands of years of history. It tracks the places people came from, the places they went, the adventures they had, the friends and enemies they made, the battles they won and lost. As English changed and grew, it became a jumble of sounds, words, and rules from countless languages and nations. And it's still changing and growing every day. More than seventy percent of all English words were born someplace other than England. That's why English can be so confusing and inconsistent. And that's why English is the richest, most international, and most versatile language in the world. This innovative book takes us on a journey through time to unravel and demystify the story of English.
Gr 7 Up-The opening chapters cover the influence of ancient Greece and Rome on the English alphabet and language. Later, German dialects of invading Angle and Saxon tribes mixed with Celtic and Latin, and Old English emerged. William of Normandy's rise to power in 1066 brought an influx of French words. Warfare between the Arabs and Europeans in the 1100s and 1200s led to further exchange of language and ideas. Simultaneously, Old English evolved into Middle English. In the 1500s, the Protestant movement, coupled with printing-press technology, led to the dissemination of English-language Bibles. English in the New World was influenced by when and where settlers came from, as the language evolved yet again. Source notes and a selected bibliography provide plenty of more-detailed sources to explore. The black-and-white illustrations include maps, portraits, and pencil drawings cued to the text. Exercises throughout the book could easily be adapted for classroom activities, e.g., matching definitions to words borrowed from Italian. The author achieves a blithe, conversational tone but sneaks in the occasional warning about how carelessness and sloppy mistakes can damage the language. This volume has more student appeal than Bill Bryson's The Mother Tongue (HarperCollins, 1991) and will make a nice supplement to SAT prep and vocabulary programs.-Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
August 10, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.