Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Apartheid and economics and language

I think I'm getting hopelessly addicted to Time Off. This morning I spent a happy hour reading a wonderful article, 'Apartheid and Economics in Anglo-Saxon England', by Alex Woolf (The Britons in Anglo-Saxon England; N. J. Higham (ed); Boydell & Brewer 2007; 115-129).

It proposes an intriguing solution to the arguments over how/why the English language isn't more 'Celtic'.

I was struck, though, by how closely one passage (about periphrastic phrasing) parallels a passage from my introduction to And Now We Are Going to Have a Party. I've haven't read this article--it was published the same year as ANWAGTHAP (2007): the year after I actually wrote my memoir--but, wow, it's eerie. It also, I admit, makes me feel very, very clever.

Eeriness (and smug chortling) aside, this is a great article. I'll be thinking about it more, and probably talking about it. If you want to be ready for that discussion--if this kind of thing interests you at all--go read the article. It's a free PDF. (Thank you to Dr Woolf for being generous enough to put it up for non-academic-library-enabled readers.)

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