.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Those French

I was paging through the the book Year 1000, by Robert Lacey, and I came across the following quote. I wonder if the author was laughing his ass off as he wrote it:

Computer analysis if the English language as spoken today shows that the hundred most frequently used words are all of Anglo-Saxon origin: the, is, you -- the basic building blocks. When Winston Churchill wanted to rally the nation in 1940, it was to Anglo-Saxon that he turned: "We shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight on the landing grounds; we shall fight in the fields and the streets; we shall never surrender." All these stirring words came from Old English as spoken in the year 1000; with the exception of the last one, surrender, a French import from the Normans.

He was definitely laughing.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

But the Normans were the victors in 1065. So they would have coined the word for the benefit of the Saxons.

8:34 AM, April 26, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Sorry -- didn't mean to rain on your French bashing. I'm sure they just put the word into play for their own future use. Please proceed.

8:36 AM, April 26, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I don't think the Saxons surrendered. They were just defeated. Besides, one could rationalize that the Normans weren't really French, they just spoke the language.

But, alas, it is true the French have generally been good fighters in history.

Maybe this should be a lesson, that humiliation tends to stick regardless of the merits. The democrats and some conservatives are going to serve us up some humiliation in Iraq by retreating.

We will be the new French.

8:46 AM, April 26, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

You mean we will be the new French as in the plundering Eleventh Century sense, or in the Twenty-First Century self-absorbed, unindustriously socialist, profligate and culturally-divided sense?

The Normans, post Conquest, played a major role in the Crusades, did they not?

9:39 AM, April 26, 2007  

Post a Comment