My daughter loves to read. I am delighted. A lifetime of happiness opens up. When I see her reading at breakfast, reading in the car, coming out from school with her coat and bag under one arm and a book held open as she walks, I am thrilled. She will read anything. I used to try to keep up with her but I’ve given up. I cannot face “Milly Molly Mandy” or “The Naughtiest Girl in the School”. The other night, I found her reading “A Christmas Carol”. Not an abbreviated version for children but the original. She cannot have understood more than one word in ten but dogged determination kept her going to the bitter end. I suspect that this is much the same spirit that moved me to finish Winwood Reade’s “The Martyrdom of Man” aged 11 to the shock and awe of my parents who, I think, were both defeated by it – needless to say, I retain almost no memory of this seminal text.
She has started to use words that she has only found in books. So she talks of the “wilder ness” and is indignant to be told that it is not so pronounced; “but it’s spelt “wilder ness”” she protests. I have already told her about epitome so she won’t be caught out by that one.
When I was a child I had a vast vocabulary of words I’d read only in books and had no idea how to pronounce. Even now I’m caught out by some of them.
I got caught out by “island” at the age of 4 or so.
Once I found out what “abridged” meant I refused to read anything other than the full version. This led to my getting the full verison of Gulliver’s Travels for (IIRC) my 10th birthday, Laputa and all.
Fantastic! I’m collecting all the Astrid Lindgren books I can find in the hope that our little man (2.5yrs) will one day like to read as much as I do.
And well done with the ‘epitome’. I’m a Flemish speaker, my husband speaks English, and every time I said that word (wrong) I saw a little smile on his face, but he never corrected me. Same with ‘tangy’.
TM, I only very, very recently discovered that the P in pterodactyl is silent.
Eimear, I was exactly the same. I felt abridged was kind of an insult. I can remember at one point asking for an explanation of brackets and taking away the message that you were only to read them just before you turned the page, so I would read to the end of the page and then scan back for the words in brackets. Girls are very obedient.
ZP, a Belgian, how nice. Tonight is your night, should probably go off to bed before I run into you dropping off sweets.