2018-03-09-hubris

The title of today’s cartoon (Pride goeth before the smack) has a funny feature.

Middle English.

I don’t speak it.  Neither do you.  In fact, nobody speaks Middle English with a possible exception of academics who don’t study anything else and have like-minded colleagues sitting around the faculty room at their university.

But we can parrot the heck out of tiny, tiny pieces of it. Mostly when we’re at churches where the King James version is still used or when we’re pretending to be King Arthur or one of his contemporaries (who, assuming they were really running around a thousand years ago, didn’t live in an area where Middle English was spoken.) “Goeth” is one of those words that sounds best when swinging a cardboard sword at your brother who’s wearing cardboard armor and saying “It’s only a flesh wound.”

Want proof that Middle English isn’t just English with ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ thrown in?  Read some Chaucer. Woo. No, Middle English is foreign.

Or (more entertaining and intelligible) read Bill Bryson’s ‘Mother Tongue- English and how it got that way”  Delightful book.