What fandom can teach you about medieval languages

Still in procrastination-hiding. However, I come bearing two interesting tidbits for the popular medievalist:

Firstly, there’s a remarkably accurate description of the development of the English language, including the difference between Old English and Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe, over at T.V. Tropes, which used to be a wiki catalogue of, well, T.V. Tropes, but is now a catalogue of all things fandom-oriented.
Regarding the habit of adding ‘eth’ to things, throwing around the word ‘thee’ and messing with word order in order to sound archaic:

This writing, e’en when well penned it doth be, oft is named by the unwashed masses “Old English”. In this a grave error lieth; actual Old English dost be a language that to an ear modern is completely incomprehensible, and real Middle English, while somewhat more understandable, still a dictionary at hand requireth (as anyone knowth who has lookethed at Chaucer in the original language). What writers are attemptingeth is somethinge Shakespearean, which in truth early Modern English be, and then even that is bastardizedeth with grammare and vocabularie moderne. (Though that may beeth because Shakespeare ignoredeth spellinge and word definitiones in exchange for poetics and punnes. Heaps upon heaps of punnes.)

Ten points to the relevant Troper, I say.

Secondly, my dear friend the Heretical Purple Blur and I went on a giant bookshop spree today, in quest of textbooks. She found one, I found none. However, in Galaxy, Sydney’s big sci-fi bookstore, I found and squeed over and subsequently bought “The Time Travelling Cat and the Viking Terror”.
The Time Travelling Cat appears to be a series for 8-12 year olds about some kids who, by aid of their magical time travelling cat, get to go back in time and mess around with history. In this particular case, I discovered by flipping to the end of the book, they save King Edmund from Ivarr the Boneless (who stalked on the land like a wolf, if you recall), and visit the tomb of St Ethelreda (I didn’t figure out WHY they were visiting her, but they were). And we thought there wasn’t anything in Anglo-Saxon England to interest the kiddies…
I may or may not have bounced around the bookstore aisles squeeing ‘THEY SAVED KING EDMUND’.


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