I wish it was around when I was growing up because it is full of fun things about the English language. History made easy through language. Learn the history of the English language in one entertaining sitting. Where on Earth did the English language come from? More than a million words, weird spellings, words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently or vice versa.
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.
Gorrell devotes a chapter to the Elizabethan age and the glories of Shakespeare. She traces the movement of English through the new colonies of North America and describes the conflict between different forms of English that resulted from its travels around the world.
There is a helpful timeline, and brief but comprehensive appendices on Sanskrit, Greek, Latin and Old English. Along the way, you can also guess how to spell some difficult words based on their origins, and figure out the meaning of words based on their prefixes. Discover the origin of expressions such as willy-nilly and words such as tadpole and weird.
This is a great book that could be useful all through middle school and high school in courses on the English language, or for the curious bookworm who enjoys spelling and reading. Teachers can find fun facts to liven up literature classes. Jun 28, Robyn rated it it was ok. Well I am not a history buff, so this was a very hard book for me to get through.
I had to re-read a lot of sentences, because it was not interesting to me.
Say What?: The Weird and Mysterious Journey of the English Language
The English language is very complex, so for a reader that wants to know about its origination, then this would be a perfect read. Our language has come from a lot of backgrounds; even religion has played a part in it. This book will tell you not only how the language developed and why words changed as years passed, but it will also give you Well I am not a history buff, so this was a very hard book for me to get through. This book will tell you not only how the language developed and why words changed as years passed, but it will also give you insight as to why our spelling is so crazy.
Say What?: The Weird and Mysterious Journey of the English Language by Gena K. Gorrell
Believe it or not at one point in time it was thought that spelling words the way they sounded would be best, but due to different meanings for the same words that went out the window. I give props to Samuel Johnson for writing the first published English dictionary. That is a task far to great for me to even imagine. So if you like history and are interested in the English language then this is a book for you. Oct 30, Mark Flowers rated it did not like it.
Should have given up on this book when the introduction referred to the English language as the most "versatile" in the world.
About the Book
Did give up on it when Gorrell made a joke I just couldn't let go about the "endless" case endings in Latin and how it's no wonder no one speaks it anymore. If you need me to explain why this is such a bad joke here it is: It died because the Romans were conquered, not because of their lang Should have given up on this book when the introduction referred to the English language as the most "versatile" in the world.
It died because the Romans were conquered, not because of their language. And more importantly, 2 There are literally thousands of languages still in use today that use extensive case systems.
Some, like Russian, are even more complicated than Latin. Jul 31, Agostino rated it really liked it. It is easy to understand and interesting, filled with fun facts and quotes from people such as William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer. It is also a lesson in the history of Britain: Although some statements are based more on opinion than fact, it is all around a good read.
Sep 30, Thebruce rated it liked it Shelves: Reads a bit like a textbook, complete with exercises at the ends of chapters.
Some interesting facts, but more an overview of the history of England with some word origins thrown in. I could see this being used in a classroom for a quick reference or fill-in activities, but not the most enthralling read. Nov 20, Kevin Hall rated it liked it. Interesting book, if you have this particularly nerdy side to you. Doesn't get too deep, which is good for me, since my linguistics classes were living nightmares in college. Also, helps on the snob factor with interesting tidbits.
Jun 02, Rachel rated it really liked it Shelves: Fascinating journey thought the history of the English language. You learn a lot about history to, could have used some more focus on language issues like grammar, also has fun exercises to help apply principals. What a fun, clear, and awesome romp through our language and all the idiosyncrasies it holds!
This is a great book for teachers, students, grammarians, and anyone who ever asked, 'Why is this language so weird?
Feb 28, Heather rated it really liked it Shelves: Very interesting and informative. I learned quite a bit! Apr 15, Veer rated it it was amazing Shelves: Used this book as a source for my humanities research project. Nice read and provides a clear and concise journey of the english language with activities and games along the way. Jun 13, Sarah rated it really liked it.
Say What?: The Weird and Mysterious Journey of the English by Gena K. Gorrell
I am sucker for these books! Nov 25, Laura rated it really liked it Shelves: Really funny history of the English language. Includes quizzes and other asides to stay interactive and fun for kids.