The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Posts tagged with “English”

In Denmark, No One Can Hear You Scream (or, Is Beowulf a Forgery?)

Sunday, 31 May, 2009

M.J. Harper and others at the lively and interesting site are more than a little suspicious that Beowulf, and with it most if not all of the texts written in Anglo-Saxon (“Old English”), are forgeries created in the 16th century. It’s a really interesting argument. The Tudor period was a time of incredible cultural […]

Politely ignoring linguistic primitivity

Monday, 23 June, 2008

M.J. Harper (The Secret History of the English Language–see previous post) has been taken to task for an apparent misunderstanding of how evolution works: A form can’t evolve from another living form, goes the dogma; rather, two related forms are said to share a common ancestor. So, for example, humans did not evolve from chimpanzees; […]

The Secret History of the English Language

Monday, 23 June, 2008

Reckoning the origins of words is a politically significant exercise, and etymologies, wherever and whenever they are from, are notoriously full of shit. They always reflect someone’s political vested interests or fantasies of “who was here first.” Yet somehow the old dons who gave us our etymological bible, the OED, have always remained above suspicion. […]


Saturday, 14 July, 2007

As a Wargo, descended from the Eastern European hinterlands, home of the original Indo-European culture from which all European languages (as well as Sanskrit) derived, I am naturally drawn to the wer- family of words—one of the main word families of that ancient language, with descendents still in the Slavic, Germanic, and Latin tongues. The […]