Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Robert Burns Day : A Fiddler in the North

A Fiddler in the North 

Amang the trees, where humming bees,
At buds and flowers were hinging, O,
Auld Caledon drew out her drone,
And to her pipe was singing, O:
'Twas Pibroch, Sang, Strathspeys, and Reels,
She dirl'd them aff fu' clearly, O:
When there cam' a yell o' foreign squeels,
That dang her tapsalteerie, O.

Their capon craws an' queer "ha, ha's,"
They made our lugs grow eerie, O;
The hungry bike did scrape and fyke,
Till we were wae and weary, O:
But a royal ghaist, wha ance was cas'd,
A prisoner, aughteen year awa',
He fir'd a Fiddler in the North,
That dang them tapsalteerie, O.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Muck! : Bring Back the Plain Old Words


 I've been reading a biography of Tolkien and wanted to share an funny passage that I think is worth exploring in our everyday life.

 In chapter 2 of the book, Tolkien's schooling is being discussed. As Tolkien began to discover language, his English literature focused mostly on Shakespeare of who Tolkien was not much of a fan.

 Luckily for Tolkien his teacher, a Mr. Brewerton had something else up his sleeve.

 " But if Shakespeare failed to please him there was other meat more suited to his taste. By inclination his form-master Brewerton was a medievalist. Always a fierce teacher, he demanded that his pupils should use the plain old words of the English language. If a boy employed the term 'manure' Brewerton would roar out: "Manure? Call it muck! Say it three times! Muck, muck, muck!" He encouraged his pupils to read Chaucer, and he recited the Canterbury Tales to them in the original Middle English. To Ronald Tolkien's ears this was a revelation, and he determined to learn more about the history of the language."

 I would love to be able to add some middle and old English in my vocabulary.

 I have run across some vocabulary sites I will post below.

 Middle English Vocabulary

 Old English Vocabulary

 Old English Translator