kitchen table math, the sequel: Crimson Wife on vocabulary in older books

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crimson Wife on vocabulary in older books

Ever since our county library system's big book giveaway last September, I've made it a priority to borrow the older titles on my "to-read" list before they are removed from circulation. So most of the books I've read in recent months were published in the late '80's or early '90's. I've been surprised at how much richer the vocabulary is compared to recently-published books aimed at a similar audience. I've found the need to keep a dictionary handy while reading because I keep encountering unfamiliar words.

Vocab in books published prior to the 80s is much larger and more varied.

And: lots of the SAT Critical Reading passages are drawn from books published prior to the 70s.

A couple of years ago, I bought a copy of Penrod for C and was astounded at the difficulty of the vocabulary. I loved the book as a child, and I doubt many children today could read it.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Yes...I must be a horrible mother, because I insist on my DD reading older books, especially classics. These can be books published anytime from the 1920s to the 1980s.

I remember her teacher (before I began homeschooling), insisting The Secret Garden was not appropriate. Rather, my daughter should be reading "Puppy Patrol" or "Animal Ark" or some other twaddle... Oh, BTW, she loved Secret Garden, it's still one of her favorites.