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What kind of English Language is this?

Posted by west_gardener (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 18:05

I downloaded a free Kindle book of short stories, called "The Hawthorn", published in 1845. Below is a copy of one of the pages.
I wonder what kind of English was used at that time? It does not seem to be the kind of English language we use today?
Anyone know?
BTW, I really enjoy reading the stories.

"in presence of females. But I will go with you, if my mother will give me permission." Mrs. Ormsby's leave was asked and obtained, and Mr. Ormsby cautioned his children to be absent but a short time. Frederick took his sister toward the woods that stretched down to the water's edge, a little beyond the cottage, and they were soon out of sight. In a short time, the little party that remained on the sands, were alarmed by a succession of violent shrieks, accompanied by another voice laughing loudly; and looking up the river,"

Anonymous. The Hawthorne / A Christmas and New Years Present (Kindle Locations 108-112).


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

In what way does your excerpt seem strange to you? Seems like perfectly normal English, to me.


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

Hi rhizo, below is one of the " excerpt seem strange " to me.

"Mrs. Ormsby's leave was asked and obtained, and Mr. Ormsby cautioned his children to be absent but a short time".


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

It's somewhat stilted and old-fashioned, the author wanted to be literary and didn't quite make it, but it's regular English, just applied in what was considered a formal way.


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

Hi lilo, it makes sense what you are saying, because it is written that way through all the short stories I have read so far.
It gives me an idea of the times back then.
Thanks


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

"leave" is permission, and absence but a short time meant do not stay long. yes - that is Old English - Shakespeare was almost as knotted.


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

shilty , I luv the word "knotted", that's a good description.


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

I so liked the word "knotted" that I looked it up, and it makes sense.

Origin of KNOT

"Middle English, from Old English cnotta; akin to Old High German knoto knot
First Known Use: before 12th century".


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

What kind of English is it? It's entirely appropriate English as used in 1845, the date you stated the book was published. If you read Trollope or Dickens or Wilkie Collins it will feel very familiar. The more you read of a given period, the more at home with the style you become. No one would describe Jane Austen's English as 21st century, but it's clearly stood the test of time since the first decade of the 19th century.

Aren't Kindle free books fun? That's how I got to try Wilkie Collins and Dickens (who writes entire paragraph-long sentences). Hope you keep experimenting.


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

Just had to laugh about paragraph-long sentences. I am re-reading Washington Irving's "The Sketchbook", issued 1820. A sentence which made me count because it is so long, contained 184 words, 21 comas, 3 semicolons and 1 colon.
The to us somewhat stilted language you have not only in English, I find it in German of that time period too.


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

sara_the_brit_, I just luv the free kindle books. They give me an opportunity to explore the books I never had an opportunity, nor took the opportunity to read in my young years. I've checked out Austen and Dickens, theya are a bit of a challenge, but I enjoy the read. Now I have to check out Wilkie Collins.
BTW, I also find it a challenge to read the "new language" of tweets and texting and rap.
I remember as a kid in Norway, during the occupation, where we had to be perfectly quiet and sit in the dark, so the Natzies would not find us, we developed a "touch language".
I find all of it very interesting,


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RE: What kind of English Language is this?

U R right, anneliese, it's a time period language.


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