Book Review: The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren


The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren

If you read my book reviews you’re probably going to get some odd ones in here. I’m interesting like that.

This book caught my eye…. No, actually it found me, walking past the shelves that are never looked at in the library, the ones I past while walking from the computers in the back, the ones that people only use when the main ones are full. Don’t ask me why I pulled it off the shelves, but upon flipping through it I knew that if I didn’t check it out I’d end up being late for class, and I am the type who goes to class.

Not many college students would be interested in a married couples 1959 study of schoolchildren’s habits, but I have odd fascinations from time to time. At nine it was Titanic. Twelve, the Romanovs. Fourteen, Harry Potter.

So I checked it out. And in it found variants, I kid you not, of every rhyme and superstition I knew as a kid. Some were noted as coming from the US, but others were widely known all over the English speaking world.

And tonight? There it was, the rhyme my grandma had told me, to my delight, over and over as a child: “What’s your name?” I’d ask, persistantly? “Pudding-and-tame, ask me again and I’ll tell you the same.”

It’s weird, but fascinating, to know what you share with other children from centuries past. And I, who am in a weird phase between child and adult, found this book a fascinating rumination on the nature of the child.

It’s out of print, but if it ever calls to you from a shelf, give it a whirl!


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