/()43’s man-in-the-pub theory of life, the left and the right
Rejoice, readers, in the satisfying knowledge that this is the last article in my series of three; soon there will be no more of this unreadable nonsense. Even better, I only have one ideosynchratic absurdity remaining to be clumsily examined – The Great Shifting of the Personalities. Best of all, there are diagrams! Hooray!
In the 14th to 18th centuries, language historians claim we changed the way we pronounced the so-called “long” vowels. If no-one can remember the 14th century, how do they know? Via some very dubious conjectue, it would seem. Anyway. One of the most interesting aspects of this great shift is the way some vowels seem to “shunt along”, each taking the place of the next. Thus, out used to sound like boot and boot used to sound like boat. It’s also interesting that we developed the printing press before the shift was complete, so that our spelling had to remain the same. We are left with a wierd spelling/pronounciation mismatch.