The Use of Archaic Language

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by JonC δοῦλος, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    I was just browsing the web, looking at the “New City Catechism,” and found this interesting (it is an explanation of why they use archaic language).

    THE USE OF ARCHAIC LANGUAGE

    Although it may make the content seem less accessible at first glance, the language of the original texts has been retained as much as possible throughout the commentaries and prayers.

    When people complained to J.R.R. Tolkien about the archaic language he sometimes used, he answered that language carries cultural values and therefore his use of older forms was not nostalgia—it was principled. He believed that older ways of speaking conveyed older ways of understanding life that modern forms cannot convey, because modern language is enmeshed with modern views of life.

    As an example, Tolkien points to a passage in The Lord of the Rings where members of the Fellowship are choosing weapons and the (archaic) wording runs as follows: "Helms too they chose." Some (wrongly) class the wording as an "inversion", since normal order is "They also chose helmets" or "They chose helmets too." But, Tolkien comments that modern English has lost the trick of putting the word that one desires to be emphasized (for pictorial, emotional, or logical reasons) into prominent first place, without the addition of a lot of little "empty" words. The much terser and more vivid ancient styles often convey gravity and meaning in a way they would not were they modernized. (See Tolkien's letter to Professor Hugh Brogan in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter, published by Houghton Mifflin, 1981.)

    http://www.newcitycatechism.com/intro.php
     
  2. InTheLight

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    "Agree, do I", said Yoda.
     
  3. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Shhh. Thou shalt not divulge writing secrets. :laugh:
     
  4. Melanie

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    That is why papal bulls are in latin, why the Mass I attend is also in latin. It is a dead language and therefore the usage of the words do not change...as in say English....example the word "gay" has been corrupted from the initial usage of having a jolly old kneesup or the person was of a light heart to its commonplace usage in today's society.

    There is pros and cons for such but I tend to support the pros. Of course in the case of papal bulls etc. they are translated to the vulgar language of the masses (vox populi), therefore, can on occasion have misinterpreted meanings.:tonofbricks:
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Can you understand Latin?
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Id be lost because I wouldn't know what a helm is.......helmet yes/helm know. Maybe that's why I use NKJ...I cant stand all those thee's and thou's.:tonofbricks:
     
  7. Rippon

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    How durst thee! My countenance hast fallen at the words thou hast spoken in mine ears! Didst thou even knowest how enflamed men might be? Whereunto have thou gaddest from? Mine anger shall wax greatly whilst others burneth withal. Know ye this : whithersoever thou goest it shall not be safe for thee. You have fretted me in all these things.
     
  8. Sapper Woody

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    J.R.R. Tolkien is one of my favorite authors. In a conversation with C.S. Lewis (who Tolkien led to Christ), Tolkien pointed at a tree and said, "What is that?"
    "A tree," responded Lewis.
    "Yes, that tells me what it is called, but it doesn't tell me what it is."
    (My paraphrasing) (And supposedly the history behind "Treebeard" and the "Ent" language.)

    Tolkien understood that something's' moniker did not describe it. He knew that to understand the word "tree", you needed to know more about the object. It was with this mindset he and Lewis wrote their novels, Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia, respectively. They wanted to create a readable story, that would give subtle hints and references to the Bible. (Lewis was less subtle about it)
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Tuffith! If they might be enflamed then goith to the nearith lake and jumpith in itith.:laugh: I don't careith:smilewinkgrin:
     
    #9 Earth Wind and Fire, Jan 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2014
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Then there is still my trusty NIV!
     
  11. Rippon

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    How durst you! I didst not sayeth anything which wouldest have addled thyself so. Perhaps thou mayest discover a pier closeth-by and by it immerse in thy full raiments.

    (Hey this is fun. What sport!)
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Alas no large body of water exists in the abode in Jersey....but allthings are ready, if our minds be so. Perish man whosemind is backward now!

    Thou dost wish more help from England, coz?
    God's will,my liege! Would you and I alone, without more help, could fight this royal battle!

    Why, now thou hath unwished five thousand men!

    Which likes me better than to wish us one.

    Youknow your places. God be with you all!


    Shakespeare's Henry V (written for Elizabethan England). Modern day 21st century--not so much.
     
  13. Gina B

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    I'm really tempted to report that last post just to confuse the moderator. :saint:
     
  14. padredurand

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    Forsooth!

    Have you located the King Jimmy Felone version yet? It's written in Nort Joysey

    Greet dem guyz in Christ Jesus. Dees guyz who are wid me greet youse.
    Philippians 4:21
     
  15. Melanie

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    The only language I ever really attempted to learn was Esperanto and Saxon English when I was a youngster.

    Elizabethan English is gorgeous in its loquacity and its insults, so much more inventive than today's mean cadre.
     
    #15 Melanie, Jan 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2014
  16. prophet

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    Right. How often does one get threatened to have their pate crowned, today?
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    We are also proficient in one very old 4 letter Anglo Saxon word. Hint, starting letter is the 6th one from da alpha bet.

    Oh and nobody from Jersey says Joisey....that's ignorant. We do borrow from the Welsh longbowmans hand signal to the French...that's done quite often.:love2:
     
  18. padredurand

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    Isn't that redundant? :tonofbricks: The sixth letter and the longbow connected often while operating a motor vehicle. I learned that driving in DC one summer.
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Compound bows are in vogue these days.....however moving around orange traffic cones on the GW has its place (in NJ).
     

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