ENGLISH? Are you sure?
Posted May 15, 2012on:
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Wow! It’s almost 7 a.m.! I’ve been up for three hours! WHY? It’s Sunday. No need to get up early. Church begins at 10:30, but by that time I’ll be sleeping (or wishing I was sleeping) again.
I’m reading a book titled, “The Mother Tongue; English & How It Got That Way”, by Bill Bryson. You could be excused for thinking that you were going to be able to read this book, I mean: ENGLISH?
Ok, just for fun, here’s an ENGLISH sentence, (Kentish dialect, in about the 15th century), that I’ll bet 100% of Christian readers out there know and probably about, oh, say, 80%? of the rest of the literate world would recognise and be able to put it into context.
“And vorlet ous oure yeldinges: ase and we vorlete(p) oure yelderes, and ne ous led na3t, in-to vondinge, ac vri ous vram queade.” (Page 60)
Okay… all together now… “HUH?!?”
Firstly, a note. The (p) is actually a ‘p’ overtop/overlapping of a ‘b’. I’m not quite sure how to get that character, or even what the name of it is. Does that make any difference? Did it help you at all???
The ‘3’? Uhm, well, it is/was a 3. It extended down a little beyond the ‘bottom’ of the line, but, uh, ya, it is/was a 3… (no more help there.) We’ll come back to this sentence later, (I want to tease you with it for a bit; humour me!)
This book, (of which I’m only about half-way through) is actually interesting. In a dry sort of way. The first chapter was truly amusing. (Well, to me, anyway.) And then it gets down to the meat. I prefer dessert.
Having said that, it really is fun to read how English almost wasn’t! How it was only with (typical) British stubbornness that English came to be at all.
How we went from guttural sounds, Ugh; Uh; Ya; Ye; Yi; (Sounds like teenagers to me!) to sentences: “Me go food”; “You come”; “Me Hungry”; (still with the teenagers…) and the like; to real words: “axed for mete and specyally he axed after eggys”. The response? She replied that she “coude speke no frenshe.” (page 59)
I’m looking forward to getting through the rest of the book so I can learn more inane facts and follies!
That line above? It’s the last sentence of The Lord’s Prayer; “And forgive us our trespasses…”
NOTE: Although, I believe the author is wrong. My own interpretation of this seems to be, “And forgive us our debts/trespasses as we also forgive our debtors/trespasser’s, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” Wonder how I can find out who’s (whose?) correct?
His book, I guess he’s correct… lol!