Friday, April 13, 2012

100 words

I just barely started The Story of English in 100 Words this morning. What author David Crystal has attempted here is to create a history based on influences, sources, and events that have contributed to and shaped our language.

He looks at words as common to us as street and as foreign to us as brock or bodgery. How did skirt come into our language? Or lunch or dude? He tackles such 21st century additions of muggle, sudoku, and twittersphere.

He writes that the first word, roe, comes to us from Anglo-Saxon runes found carved into the surface of a roe's ankle bone dating from the 5th century.

Each of the hundred words gets a page or two and photos are included with some. Have you ever seen a 5th century roe ankle bone? I hadn't either until I picked up this book. It looks to be a fine read.

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