Search This Blog

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Eleven Plus Words

When our eleven plus children are working through verbal reasoning exercises they keep meeting a heritage of words from our ancient past.

Find a similar word:

After a brief interval the combat was resumed.


Combat - from Middle French combattre, and from Latin - combattere
Fight – Old English - feohtan to fight
Game – Old English gamen
Dispute - from Old French desputer and from Latin disputare examine, discuss, argue
Argument - French argument and from Latin argumentum, from arguere to argue

Just a thought – to pass the eleven plus – and pass with flying colours – it seems that some knowledge of Latin, Old English and Old French is required. The word `game’ for example was also used by the Goths – and we can all remember the consequences of the Huns, the Goths and the Vandals sweeping through parts of England.

Does this mean that a child faced with similar questions over five hundred years ago could have passed his or her eleven plus? The children may have struggled a little because William Caxton, the printer, worked on the Canterbury Tales rather than `The Official Twenty One Types of Verbal Reasoning – with special sections dealing with the Official Fifteen verbal reasoning types’. The printing press had not been invented when Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales.

When the first Eleven Plus primers were written fifty years ago the internet had not yet been invented. When Tim Berners-Lee saw the opportunity for communication through the web – back in 1989 – I wonder if he thought of the use that today’s parents and children would be making of the internet.

How many of our truly bright eleven plus children would be able to find the correct answer to this question?

Find a similar word:

After a brief interval the combat was resumed.

Feohtan, gamen, disputare, arguere

Please let us know. Some children must be able to work out at least part of the answer.

No comments: