Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Is it the linguistic apocalypse?  I would agree with Arrant Pedantry, that perhaps our anxieties may best be spent elsewhere ... let's blame a physicist for children who can't ride bikes.  (I need a t-shirt, by the way, to remind myself:  "Change is not decay.")

"(T)he truth is that most of those changes from Old English to modern English also came from ignorance or laziness, and we seem to communicate just fine today."

Jeff Sypeck on wonderfully, wilfully outmoded technology, pulling the paper tabs just right, and dreadful free verse.

The animals of cottage and castle ... and the one time on this blog I can use the phrase "dorking cock" without worrying about my mother being scandalized.  (Not that she reads here, but she's still my handy authorial-appropriateness yardstick!  WWMR?  What Would Mama Read?)  Actually a very good starter read for research purposes, courtesy of English Historical Fiction Authors.

English Historical Fiction Authors also brings us a look at clothing as a map to the past, which considers the interesting concept of sumptuary laws.  (Only yesterday, I was discussing the odd experience of someone I know, who found that a positively ruinous luxury tax could be circumvented by the simple expedient of having an item shipped rather than walking out of a store with it.  Sumptuary laws and beard taxes seem odd to us sometimes, but make no mistake that contemporary law is sensible stuff.)  Wardrobe has always been a matter of symbolism and communication.

Two Nerdy History Girls has a good companion post to the first link in the bullet above, from EHF, looking closely at the conspicuous con-sumptuousness of men's clothing in the 18th century.  With some crystal-clear, detailed photos of the detail of a luxuriant suit.

And finally, BBC's History Extra is taking a LOT of looks at Alfred the Great (... ?) lately, what with that hip bone and its tantalizing (hee) implications.

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