Friday, August 25, 2006

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath A Blog

Via Mimi Smartypants, a link to my new favorite blog ever, and a leading contender for the title of, "Things That Make The Internet Worth It".

It's Geoffrey Chaucer Hath A Blog. Apparently written by Chaucer scholars, the whole blog is written in Middle English. As one of the help links says, "Chaucer's English is over 600 years old, but it is still recognizably English, and with a little effort it can be understood." Take that, make a blog out of it, complete with hilarious anachronisms, and you have GOLD.

Take, for example, the recent entry about the "grete entertaynment of 'Serpentes on a Shippe,'" about which "al of Londoun ys aflame". There's even a "Spoyler alert":
If ye haue nat yet sene the performaunce of 'Serpentes on a Shippe,' rede nat of the romaunce, for it doth telle of the manye suprises and straunge eventes that happen in the course of the storye, and thus it mayhap shall lessen yower enjoiement of the performaunce yt self.

And then it goes on to retell the entire story of 'Serpentes on a Shippe'. A few of my favorite passages:
‘Master mariners,’ seyde Sir Neville, ‘We muste make passage yn yower firste-classe section, for I bringe a witnesse to the courte of Kynge Arthur.’ And the mariners and the maydes on the boate assentede, thogh manye a rich burgois dide grucchen much at levynge first classe for coache.

...doun in coache, manye a stereotype did sitte and make conversacioun. Ther was a PRIORESSE, who lovede hir smalle dog, and also a SQUIRE, who mad manye songes of rappe and had TWO FAT KNIGHTES wyth him, and also a WOMAN WYTH A BABYE AND AN ACCENTE, who coud muche of plesaunte folke remedyes and TWO FOUNDLINGES who travelid all al oon, and an ANTISOCIALE ENGLISHMAN and also a gret manye EXPENDABLES.

...Thus cam the snakes in the coache seccioun of the vessel, and ther was much noyse and screminge and manye EXPENDABLES weren eten and in the naughtye partes ybitten. The ANTISOCIALE ENGLISHMAN dide throwe the dogge of the PRIORESSE to the serpentes for to make hem delaye, and yet he too was eten by a grete wyrm. And the SQUIRE did showe that for all of his bling he was but a cowarde. And the WOMAN WYTH A BABYE AND AN ACCENT dide scape wyth her babye and her accent.

...Sir Neville seyde, ‘Litel it availeth us to fighte wyth thes snakes. By cause thei do not jouste as knightes do, nor do thei make fayre parlay whan thei aren captured, but rather in the nature of beestes thei bite the helle ovte of vs the whole tyme.’

But the very best part isn't the translation to Middle English, it's the ending. It's not only been translated language-wise, it's been re-written to end as a story in the Middle Ages really would have ended. If nothing else, skip to "chapter the vthe and finale", and read that ending.


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