Friday, August 10, 2012

King Alfred's English~ A History of the Language We Speak And Why WeShould Be Glad We Do

Have you ever thought that maybe English has gotten the sort end of the stick? The mongrel of languages, difficult to learn, hard to understand the rules, and difficult to spell? Are you interested in the history of words? Are you disappointed when your dictionary doesn't include the etymology of the words? Well, have I got a book for you!
Enter  King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak And Why We Should Be Glad We Do, published by The Shorter Word Press. The back of the book tells us that it was designed for students Grades 7-12 and Curious Adults, and I'll tell you that I fit right into that "Curious Adults" designation. What a fascinating read!
There are so many little facts and bits of information included in this book (for instance, I now understand why a Contemporary Christian Band would choose to call themselves Caedmon's Call), that I found myself sticky-noting pages with snippets that I wanted to remember.

Something interesting to note~ King Alfred’s English is the only book that covers the history of our language for students below the college level.

 A couple of things that are emphasized throughout the book:
  • Any language that is being spoken (A Living Language) is going to change and move along with the culture that speaks it. Consider that each year new words are added to the dictionary. Some recent additions to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary are "tweet," "boomerang child," and "helicopter parent."
  • Living Languages always simplify over time~ This is interesting, as I would have assumed that English became more complicated over time. The grammar itself is simpler (We now use  simply "you" when previously we had to choose between "thee," "thou," "ye," or "you"~ better, no?), but "the rules have become more numerous and exact." 
There is also a staggering amount of words in the English Language. The book gives this comparison:
French Dictionary: 100,000 word entries
Russian: 130,000
German: 185,000
Oxford English Dictionary: 615,000 word entries.
Wow! That's kind of crazy, but somewhat expected when England was such a melting pot of languages....

For the purposes of this review, I simply enjoyed reading (And sharing snippets with others) the book myself. A perfectly good and pleasant purpose for this book. However, please recall that the book was intended for students in 7th-12 grade as well as adults.  King Alfred's English is a "light course" in four subject areas: History, English Literature, Linguistics, and The English Bible, so is a great option for at least 1/2 semester credit for your high school student (I have yet to figure out keeping track of credits... YIKES! Time to get a handle on it, with a rising 10th grader!). maintains a student page with resources for each chapter including links to images, articles, videos, primary sources, and literature related to each chapter– and a teacher page with worksheets for each chapter and 3 tests covering the information in the whole book, as well as answers for each one.

This is another one of those marvelous review items for which I have nothing negative to say~ it's all good in my book! :) I shouldn't forget to mention that this is written from a distinctly Christian worldview and the Bible features in the spread as well as the life of the English language.

You can download and read the first chapter of the book. I warn you though, once you do, you will probably be hooked! :)

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty
Company: The Shorter Word
Product: King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak And Why We Should Be Glad We Do,
Price: List price is $16.95, but The Shorter Word has mentioned that it can be found for less at the following sites:
Grace & Truth Books ( $14.50)
CBD ( $14.89),
Rainbow Resource Center has it for $14.95
The Kindleprice is $5.95

As always, I hope that this review is helpful to you as you choose where to best spend your homeschool budget. Be sure to click on the banner below to read more reviews.

Disclaimer: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Review Crew Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for letting me know you were here. I appreciate "thoughtful" comments. :)


I love trading in points(450), earned during normal searches, for ($5) Amazon Gift Cards!


Related Posts with Thumbnails