That is not dead which can eternally hit the snooze button

Skip to content

Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Daru
    May 29, 2015 @ 1:30 am

    I know some similar stories in my family and in the communities where I grew up in Scotland – especially from the experiences my mother and father had, and their grandparents.

    My father talked to me about his childhood of three in a bed, how he climbed every tree around the estate where he lived and I know that at the age of 14, rather than going up to the 'big school', his father pretty much sent him down to Leith Docks where he was apprenticed as a welder. This was something which he resented and still does to this day as he was one of the smartest kids in his school and had wanted more of an education. I grew up in some of the roughest areas around Edinburgh, and have many memories of playing around burnt out cars that had been set on fire, old canals filled with broken toys, rubbish and old shopping trolleys, all near concrete tower blocks which were pretty scary to live in as a kid. I loved the area though and at least at this time there was no road bypass or industrial estates that have since taken away the rolling land filled with crops and trees.

    I found despite the rawness of the territory, many pockets of wonders and magic in the land and in a lot of ways those starnge places we grow up in can feed many tales.


  2. Daru
    May 29, 2015 @ 1:30 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  3. Aylwin
    May 29, 2015 @ 3:48 am

    Hmmm. I call bullshit on this "unaltered Anglo-Saxon" malarkey. Dialects don't work like that. There are differences of degree, but in essence it's not a question of one sort of speech staying the same while another changes, but of different strands changing in different ways.

    The idea gets particularly silly when the one example of an Old English root-word quoted is conspicuously unlike the equivalent "unaltered" modern dialect word, while the standard English "yawn" is of course derived from the same OE word, and indeed resembles it more closely. Some of the other examples (like "thackers", or "dike") are also just variant forms of words also found in standard English (in both of those cases cleaving the "k" sound rather than the "tch" sound, both sounds represented in OE as "c"), others (like "claggy") are apparently not OE at all but of much more recent origin, while others (like taking tut") which are expressions rather than words, also seem likely to be of relatively recent origin, or at least not verifiably otherwise.

    And “the traditional Anglican speech of Mercia, which predated by many hundreds of years anything resembling standard English” suggests a lack of awareness that standard English is itself derived principally from the dialectical forms of the medieval and early modern Midlands.

    The whole contention is a matter of the author exploiting/being deceived by the widespread fallacy by which people think of unfamiliar or unusual words or usages whose earlier forms have been pointed out to them as being "older" than common, familiar words of equally ancient origin.

    What you have here is a tendentious philological fiction cooked up to support a particular, not very friendly characterisation of a community.

    In a word, cobblers. (I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.)


  4. Aylwin
    May 29, 2015 @ 3:49 am

    cleaving to


  5. Aylwin
    May 29, 2015 @ 3:51 am

    Oh, I don't know. I rather like "starnge".


  6. Daru
    May 29, 2015 @ 3:57 am

    Cool! Scratch that, I'll delete the apology then as I actually like it too.


  7. Daru
    May 29, 2015 @ 4:02 am

    I've been shaped by the starnge.


  8. Jeff Heikkinen
    May 29, 2015 @ 1:06 pm

    I haven't read the original, but I take it the point is not so much that the linguistic claims are objectively true as that they were believed by the people Seabrook was writing about. He could still be full of shit, of course, but if he is I don't think it's in the specific way you suggest.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.