#60: The American Teenager Claims The Puritans Were Speaking Old English

This is Old English

This is Old English

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This is NOT Old English

This is NOT Old English

This is NOT Old English

The American Teenager Claims The Puritans Were Speaking Old English

He wants to say
the Puritans were speaking
or writing in Old English;
a pet peave of mine,
this calling by students Old English
what is essentially their language,
modern English, a language they don’t
really know that well after all.
But they know even less of Old English,
unless they’re illegally drinking
40 ouncers, which scares me,
not only because it’s bad beer, but
because I’m an adult and should
be concerned about their welfare
and must pretend I never did any
underage drinking.  No, I tell them,
you would not recognize Old English
if it walked right up and kicked you
in the ass.  So don’t call the writing
or the speaking of the Puritans
Old English, and don’t call Shakespeare’s
language Old English, because it’s just not,
and the American teenager
can swear up and down
that the language the Puritans spoke
is not his, but it is, it just is,
and I’d like to tell him, as
compassionately and with as much
warmth and understanding as
I could muster, in so many words:
shut up and learn your own damn language.

2 Comments

Filed under Literature, Poetry, Teaching

2 responses to “#60: The American Teenager Claims The Puritans Were Speaking Old English

  1. Julius

    I’m sorry to disappoint you, but this is most certainly modern danish written in an old fashioned font.

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