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The Journey of English

Donna Brook; Illustrator-Jean Day Zallinger

18 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0395712114 / ISBN 13: 9780395712115
Published by Clarion Books, 1998
Used Condition: Used: Good Hardcover
From Ergodebooks (RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Journey of English

Publisher: Clarion Books

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Used: Good

About this title


Who first spoke English? Did it always sound the way it does today? How did it become the most popular language in the world? This book traces the journey of our language from its origins with the various peoples who invaded England to its present status as the international language of science and business, with more than a billion speakers. The evolution of the English language and the story of its spread throughout the world are described in concise, easy-to-read text, filled with lively examples, and accompanied by meticulously rendered illustrations and maps. Includes a Bibliography and an index.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-6-A disappointing look at the history of our language. The pieces are all here, but their order is somewhat disjointed, causing confusion. For instance, the map of Roman Britain doesn't appear until the text has moved on to cover the invasion of the Angles and Saxons, and The Great Vowel shift of 1400 to 1450 is mentioned after the discussion of Shakespeare. Some of the information is misleading (e.g., "Sunday," a word of Greek origin, is included with the days derived from the names of Roman or Norse gods). Brief lists of English words derived from other languages are provided, but they seem to be selected randomly and their etymology is not given. While a final section on dictionaries is interesting, it seems tacked on. Perhaps the most useful part of the book is the "Clues to Word Origin," which give hints for deciphering language origins from both the spelling and meaning of modern-day words. The realistic watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations are average at best, and the faces on most of the figures are poorly executed. Some drawings, such as those of Hadrian's Wall and the portraits of various Renaissance thinkers, appear without any textual references. Though Jane Sarnoff's Words (Scribners, 1981; o.p.) focuses more on specific words than on the overall history, it is a better choice. Don't bother booking passage on this Journey.
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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