Because you’ve been wondering. I know you have. I know you’ve been wondering what the heck I’ve been learning in class. Well, here you go. I can show you some strange things that I’ve learned.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been studying The History of the English Language and Creative Short Story here at Oxford. My Creative Writing class is over with; it was the “minor” class and only lasted 4 weeks. I got back my final story, but I cannot read the professor’s comments!!
My major class continues into next week, which is the week we go home : (
I have one more paper for that class, for which the topic I have chosen is “Discuss how Early Modern English is the period in which the language was both standardized and codified”. funfunfun.
What does this have to do with my “intended major” you may ask?
but it’s Oxford, so who’s complaining?
Here’s a bit of a look at some of my notes and the things we deal with in class, then it’s off to discuss some of the things I’ve been up to lately!
sometimes it makes me feel like this….
analyzing Shakespeare in Early Modern English?
Did you know he never spelled his name in a consistent way?
makes me feel like this….
Some things I’ve learned randomly in class
1. English is a germanic language, with roots in Latin, French and a whole slew of other languages. Sorry language purists, we’ve always been mutts.
2. the word “rune” means “secret” in Old English. We all used to be pagans and we wrote in runes. We is, of course, assuming English ancestry.
3. English used to have all sorts of changing pronouns based on case like German der/die/das, etc. Thank goodness we got rid of those!
4. English was not always the primary language of England! Before English the elite language to speak was French and before that, Latin.
5. Someone said that television would never catch on because it was a mixture of latin and greek words: “telos” = latin
“visio”= greek for “to see far away”
boy, were they wrong!
6. Shirt and Skirt both used to mean “a short garment”
7. The printing press really was important
8. deer make funny noises, something close to geese?
9. there are multiple uses for the word “do/did”
10. there were supposed to be 116 Canterbury Tales. There are only 23. oops.
11. The British don’t hate American English
12. it’s hilarious when British people try to pronounce words with “R” like Car and Card
13. The original Canterbury Tales is in California in some guy’s private library cause he was rich, instead of in Canterbury?
14. The terms “upper” and “lower” case actually refers to where on the shelves or “cases” the movable type was kept.
15. There was, at one time, a movement to spell things how they sounded. That didn’t work…wonder why…
I know so much about the English Language right now. I could just whip out some Old Texts for you. Except for not.