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Old words, strange words, words...

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Old words, strange words, words...

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:42 pm

Reading Allison Weir's bio of Henry VIII. She spends the first third of the book discussing court life in the 16th century and pours out words I've not hear and words I've not heard used that way. For example, leftover food was called manners and collected in voiders, from which the leftovers were given to servants or beggars. So far almost every page has new terminology. If you have any interest in 16th century English, you can leaf through the pages and collect dozens of words.
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Re: Old words, strange words, words...

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:09 am

Some wag said, "..... nothing to read but words." Wide reading produces large vocabularies. One sometimes learns what writers don't know. I read a detective novelist who, in the same book, had oil derricks genuflecting, gables of houses sagging, and angel food cake being made with egg yolks. There were dozens of blatant errors in that one novel. If one is not familiar with old derricks, they are rather stable towers that cannot possibly bow with any alacrity, while oil well pumps go up and down in perpetual genuflections.

One also finds amazing words that increase vocabulary and enrich one’s life. In Mary Webb’s “Precious Bane” I learned the word “clemmed”, meaning hungry, along with numerous other words used by people in rural England of the late 1700s. If you can tolerate James Fenimore Cooper, you will learn that Natty Bumppo circumnavigated a lake. That was pretty heady stuff for me as an eight-year old. Later I recognized just what a pedant Cooper was. Daphne du Maurier’s “Frenchman's Creek” gave me the British definition of a creek. It also put some naughty thoughts in my teen-aged mind. It has been this way down the years and I hope this wonderful adventure goes go on and on.

Have you ever read a theological treatise by Lady Jane Gray? Try it. You may like it.

I am going to investigate Allison Weir's biography of Henry VIII because Perry had good things to say about the words used in the book. I only know Allison Weir as a political activist and didn’t even know she was a historian and historical novelist.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Old words, strange words, words...

Postby misterdoe » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:08 pm

A junion high school history teacher I had used to include Natty Bumppo as an option on just about every other multiple-choice question on our tests. He never really explained where the name came from, except to say that it was in a story he'd read when he was in school, he liked it, and it stayed in his mind.

But I came here today to post a link to another article about "old words, strange words, words..." that came in my email from About.com. Not a lot of new stuff here, but the presentation can be entertaining: http://specials.about.com/service/newsl ... 698000.htm
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Re: Old words, strange words, words...

Postby bnjtokyo » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:26 am

Perhaps not surprisingly, there seem to be more than one person with the name "Alison Weir." Ms Weir, historical novelist, is British and lives in Surrey. Ms Weir, activist in support of Palestinian causes, appears to be a US citizen. She may live in California, but personal information is sparse on the internet.
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Re: Old words, strange words, words...

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:47 am

I apologize for confusing Allison Weir1 with Allison Weir2. My bad. Apparently a lot of people have them confused. Allison Weir2, the pro-Palestinian, has asked people not to write Allison Weir1, the British Historian, and rant about her politics. Rather kind of Allison Weir2.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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