minstrel: Bards, Ceilidhs, and Ye Olde Englyshe

Heather Rose Jones hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Fri Apr 25 07:53:46 PDT 1997

On Fri, 25 Apr 1997, Rockall Herald/Auntie Jen wrote:

> On Thu, 24 Apr 1997 mn13189 at WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU wrote:
> >Alfredo can  help me on this one.  However, the practice
> > of adding superfulous "e"s on the end of words that otherwise don't have
> > them was a Vicortian romantic convention to make something sound archaic.
> I beg to differ.  Also "common modern" practise originated in the 
> Victorian era, there was *no* rule about adding final "e" or not until 
> the Enlightenment, when They more or less invented "proper" spelling.  
> Look at Chaucer, for example--sometimes he uses them, sometimes he 
> doesn't, and the pronunciation thereof depends wholly on metrical 
> demand.  The word "kind" could be rendered kind, kynd, kinde, or kynde.

Well, in Chaucer's day, you still had the remnants of functional
inflectional endings involved. The say word might show up as "kind" or
"kinde" as grammar required. It was when this function was no longer
understood by the readers of older texts that it was reanalyzed as simply
"an old-fashioned thing" and applied randomly in an attempt to archaize
words irrespective of grammar.


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