Sunday, September 13, 2015

Lazy Sunday Musing: The Weirdness of English

One of the things I find most fascinating is how the English language has evolved over time. Every now & then, videos & articles show up on Facebook demonstrating how researchers believe English sounded centuries ago. It's easy enough to SEE the changes (how many of us had to memorize the "Prologue" to Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales?"), but what did the language SOUND like?

Here's one really good clip that I shared on Facebook this week, "Speke Parrott" by Jack Skelton, poet laureate under Henry VII: 

While he wasn't at court during Richard's era, he did arrive in 1488, so what you hear in this poem is very close to the English spoken in Richard's court.

Here's another clip, this time with a researcher reading aloud one of Richard III's own letters:

While we can recognize words & phrases in these clips, it does sound as though Early & Middle English are foreign languages & not English at all.  Because of this, I often wonder if people who lived back then would be able to understand our modern English.  It's an interesting conundrum that's not often addressed in time travel novels, movies, & TV shows ("Doctor Who" & "Star Trek" are exceptions.) 

The most interesting thing I learned about English this week did not come from a video, however. It came from an article on Mental Floss by Arika Okrent & discusses why we say "won't" instead of "willn't."

It's always fascinating to find out new things about English, even more so when they connect with Richard III. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Life Does a 180 (A Memory of 9/11/2001)

Three minutes. 180 seconds. 

Three minutes was all it took for life, as I knew it, to shatter & 

to feel like I fell down a rabbit  hole. The amount of time it 

took me to pull into the parking lot, turn off the radio, get out

of my car, walk into my office, turn on the computer, and

then, the radio. 

180 seconds 

to go from "Workin' for the Weekend"(played a few days 

early for some reason) to "We've just confirmed that...." 

I don't remember much about the rest of that day....but I do 

remember clearly 

those 180 seconds.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Reblog: Witness to HIstory Reflections on the Burial of Richard III by Susan Frost

Several months ago, I was approached by Susan Frost to give some of my thoughts on the events in Leicester this past March. I had forgotten completely about it until yesterday, when she posted the link to her article.  I have linked to it below & recommend it.  She interviewed many people, including Phil Stone & Philippa Langley, & her article includes her own photographs.