where the writers are
Who's Afraid of Middle English?
Date of Review: 
Feb.01.2004
Reviewer: 
Cynthia Perantoni
Source: 
Scientia Scholae

The concept is admirable to render Middle English less threatening by transcribing familiar titles and expressions into Middle English spelling. Cullen accurately translates from Modern to Middle English a wide variety of titles and expressions. The lists are light-hearted and fun and could provide a basis for recognition games in secondary classroom in studies of Chaucer and of language history. "Phisicienes Wordez for Anathomye and Sikness" proved understandable and especially enjoyable for students. Who's Afraid of Middle English? will encourage confidence and interest in reading Chaucer in the original, or, at least, in reading Chaucer in modern English translation with greater awareness of the connections between his language and our own. Many expressions will promote discussion of ways in which English continues to evolve. The book is valuable in illuminating connections between past and present through fabricated linguistic connections. The effort to discover meaning makes the words come alive.