Off the Clock: A Lexicon of Time Words and Expressions

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Off the Clock is a wonderfully varied collection of words about time and the legends, historical anecdotes, and scientific facts that explain the expressions.

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Overview

Off the Clock is a wonderfully varied collection of words about time and the legends, historical anecdotes, and scientific facts that explain the expressions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The tone is casual, funny, sometimes lyrical, with a relaxed combination of fact and metaphor and a natural mix of cultures. . . .This is a natural for cross-curricular projects in the classroom and the library." Booklist, ALA
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-The focus of this collection of time-related words and idioms is not time measured by the clock, but time as experienced or felt-down through the ages and across cultures. A preface discusses the concept and relevance of time, then comes an alphabetical listing of some 75 terms-``Bee time,'' ``Canonical hours,'' ``Dillydallying,'' ``Elevenses,'' ``Garden,'' ``Matinee,'' ``Tempo,'' etc.-followed by a few paragraphs of explanation and/or rumination. Science is rarely the basis for the discussion; rather, folklore, religion, anthropology, and history are called upon. Examples are from many different cultures and bias is pointedly rejected, though assumptions are sometimes made about readers' knowledge of Christian concepts. The tone is conversational and the information interesting; the layout is attractive, with an appropriate black-and-white woodcut or engraving (some sourced) gracing each page; and the author is sympathetic to kids' perceptions. Yet one wonders who will read this volume. The selection is broad, but idiosyncratic, with no index, and only occasional cross-references, so its usefulness for specific inquiries is dicey. Browsing is a possibility, and certainly no other juvenile titles address the language of time so directly. Marilyn Burns's This Book Is about Time (Little, 1978) covers some of the same information, together with much more in the way of science/math activities. Even though Fakih's effort tries for relevance, and has a wide scope (reflected in its eclectic bibliography), this is a subject adults, rather than young people, tend to chew on.-Nancy Palmer, The Little School, Bellevue, WA
Hazel Rochman
In a chatty blend of folklore, anthropology, myth, history, semantics, and physics, Fakih looks at how we talk about time. The alphabetical arrangement is a bit arbitrary, with extra "trivia and second thoughts" lumped together in a final section, but kids will dip into this and browse rather than read it from beginning to end. The tone is casual, funny, sometimes lyrical, with a relaxed combination of fact and metaphor and a natural mix of cultures. For example, the entry about "daylight saving time" is followed by talk about "dillydallying", "dog days", and then the "dreamtime" of the Australian aborigines. Fakih switches easily from the poetic (""Dawn" has always been a time of great hush and great violence") to the matter-of-fact (""Evening" can be a time for play, snacks, television, or homework"). There are occasional black-and-white illustrations from a number of sources, many of them historical, and there's a bibliography, but more detailed endnotes would have been useful for readers who want to follow up on what intrigues them. This is a natural for cross-curricular projects in the classroom and the library.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395663745
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 12/30/1994
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.33 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.69 (d)

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