|01-27-2009, 12:39 AM||#16|
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Arkham, MA
Of course Elizabethan English is considered Modern English. Old English is what Beowulf was written in. Even Chaucer (Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote the droghte of March hath perced to the roote ) is not Old English but Middle English.
|01-27-2009, 03:25 AM||#18|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Device: Kindle Voyage, iPad Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, N7
Absolutely - "Canterbury Tales" is Middle English. It's complicated by the fact, however, that like all educated men of his day, Chaucer was trilingual, speaking English, French (the language still spoken by the Royal court at the time), and Latin, and CT makes liberal use of both French and Latin.
|09-15-2011, 03:22 PM||#19|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Device: Pocketbook IQ 701
I find reading books written in the early 1800's much less hampered by elaborate mannerisms than those written in the Victorian era. Good example: Admiral Burney, whose book on the early explorers, written in about 1803, is still an entertaining read. So is Thomas Jefferson. Good writing is independent of time, and I say, "hands off!"
|09-15-2011, 11:10 PM||#20|
Join Date: May 2009
Device: bebook; prs-950; nook simple touch; HTC Jetstream tablet
I thoroughly agree that it's best to keep the old words; part of the reason to read old books is to savor the flavor of the text. The old words also broaden one's appreciation of the evolution of language. Translating obsolete or out-of-favor words would only be appropriate if one is producing an edition for easy reading by children, or perhaps for introductory textbooks (but why would anyone want to produce such textbooks).
I often work with really old English science books dating back to the late 1600s and very early 1700s, and I know that trying to substitute modern equivalents for numerous commonly used words in these books would be enormously difficult, and probably would produce many errors because of faulty decisions about appropriate substitutes.
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