Discussion:
"The Miller's Tale" axed
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Harrison Hill
2018-08-06 19:52:11 UTC
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Many people (including me) think that saying "I axed", when you
probably meant "I asked", displays an uneducated usage. Maybe
it does - but in Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale":

"If that he axed after Nicholas,
She sholde seye she nyste where he was".

If I read ("reed") a foreign language, and it is converted into
attractive modern language for me, then that is a good thing. I
loved to read Cervantes or Tolstoy in translation. Much harder to
read Chaucer in translation - because it ought to already be English:

"In al this world, to seken up and doun,
There nys no man so wys that koude thenche
So gay a popelote or swich a wenche.
Ful brighter was the shynyng of hir hewe
Than in the Tour the noble yforged newe".

Already a translation? If so in what way?
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-08-06 21:15:41 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
Many people (including me) think that saying "I axed", when you
probably meant "I asked", displays an uneducated usage.
That would be the members of your Snobs Society branch
presumably!
Post by Harrison Hill
Maybe
"If that he axed after Nicholas,
She sholde seye she nyste where he was".
If I read ("reed") a foreign language, and it is converted into
attractive modern language for me, then that is a good thing. I
loved to read Cervantes or Tolstoy in translation. Much harder to
If Chaucer had had a time machine handy to pop forward to do a
degree in Modern English before writing the Canterbury Tales, I'm
sure he would have obliged.
Post by Harrison Hill
"In al this world, to seken up and doun,
There nys no man so wys that koude thenche
So gay a popelote or swich a wenche.
Ful brighter was the shynyng of hir hewe
Than in the Tour the noble yforged newe".
Already a translation? If so in what way?
No. It's English, just not as we know it. The sense of the
passage however is pretty clear and how cool are those
spellings?!
David Kleinecke
2018-08-06 22:27:51 UTC
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Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Harrison Hill
Many people (including me) think that saying "I axed", when you
probably meant "I asked", displays an uneducated usage.
That would be the members of your Snobs Society branch
presumably!
Post by Harrison Hill
Maybe
"If that he axed after Nicholas,
She sholde seye she nyste where he was".
If I read ("reed") a foreign language, and it is converted into
attractive modern language for me, then that is a good thing. I
loved to read Cervantes or Tolstoy in translation. Much harder to
If Chaucer had had a time machine handy to pop forward to do a
degree in Modern English before writing the Canterbury Tales, I'm
sure he would have obliged.
Post by Harrison Hill
"In al this world, to seken up and doun,
There nys no man so wys that koude thenche
So gay a popelote or swich a wenche.
Ful brighter was the shynyng of hir hewe
Than in the Tour the noble yforged newe".
Already a translation? If so in what way?
No. It's English, just not as we know it. The sense of the
passage however is pretty clear and how cool are those
spellings?!
Generally if one rewrites Middle English in modern
spelling and inflection it is readable. About 10% of
the vocabulary will be strange and the syntax will
often be odd but that is not enough to impede
comprehension. With Chaucer's poetry though this has
the downside of ruin the meter.

By inflection modernized I mean yforged -> forged etc.
I dunno as "nis" - naively modern "no is" but "isn't"
might be better.

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