Friday, December 08, 2006

Middle English Destroyed My Spelling

I am talking about Middle English, not Middle Earth uber geeks. Middle English is similar in concept to Olde English, as in it's a form of English that pre-dates our modern English. Unless one is an expert, you pretty much can't read Old English. Middle English is more or less understandable, except that there's no standardized spelling.

So in undergrad I did this summer-at-Oxford thing where I studied Arthurian literature and we read all that crap in its original form (i.e. middle english), rather than prose "translations." Good god, that shit was painful.

When we went to write our papers (handwritten may I add) I noticed that I struggled far more with spelling than I had in quite some time. One day our professor mentioned "Have you noticed trouble with spelling yet?" We all responded "yes" in amazement and she remarked that "reading the old texts will really do that to you."

So what did I get out of that class other than a whole passel of useless knowledge about Aruthurian knights*? I got my spelling skills f-ed up, that's what.


*For Monty Python fans, you'll be pleased to know that there really is a story about Knights who say "Nih". And the story is goddamn senseless.


I used to be a good speller. I mean, in the 4th grade I was in the upper levels of the school spelling bee. That is until I realized that that shit was stressful and boring and I had to pee, so I threw a "q" in "scorpion" and called it a day.

But now I can't spell for shit. EZ is outlining for Constitutional Criminal Procedure using my notes and has just told me that I continually spell "counsel" wrong.

I spell it both "council" and "counsil"
I also spell "judgment" as "judgement"
and "procedure" as "proceedure"
and I often for get to distinguish between "priciple" and "principal"

See in middle English there's a whole bunch of extra vowels in words, not to mention they are rarely spelled the same way twice. And honestly, words just look naked to me now without an extra vowel or two. I sometimes try to put one too many "o's" in "thoose" as well.

Whatever. The point is I'm tired, I'm sick of studying the law, and I can't spell. This is what being an over educated geek gets you.


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