It is for the prince and the noble
Whose joy and mark of distinction is to look good on a horse
Fixedly on the expedition, some trappings of war.
Let’s worry about the þegna, the thegns. They set up camp at night, prepare food, tend to horses, fires. Get ordered around by el jefe to do every damn thing. They can’t do that themselves? Come on. It’s late. The thegns are tired. They have to be up first and early to get the whole show back on the road. All that work and nervous energy. It’s going to be a battle! They’re wiped out and finding places to sleep. Let’s pause here.
Raise you hand. Have you ever walked right into a bramble of some kind, in broad daylight, and you didn’t see it until the burning tear right into your skin? This is Britain. They have thorns all over the place. Do you live where blackberries grow like a plague upon the land? I do. They hurt. Now, find a place to sleep at night like a tired thegn in the super … More
In Old English yr means only the name for this rune. A bow is a guess, a bow made out of yew. In Old Norse yr means the yew tree. The Icelandic Rune Poem says yr is “bent bow and brittle iron, and Farbauti (a giant) of the arrow.” Yew Bows from Britain were prized all over Europe, so I think a yew bow as an answer to this riddle makes the most sense from the minimal context we have. But in Old English yew is spelled eoh, so this rune could be describing something else. Some think this stanza describes a horn or a saddle bow or buckle. Whatever yr was, it was something to see. This is what this stanza is all about. Being something to see. Looking good on a horse. That’s sexy. Nobody wants to look bad on a horse.
This rune is about the elite. They could … More
Congratulations! You are going to war. You might be feeling rather heated at the moment and may be experiencing an urgent desire to get on with the war proper, but first you must declare war. The war declaration belongs to the artistry of war making and mustn’t be ignored, steps ought to be followed from A to Z. There’s no just getting on with it in this alphabet book! Oh no honey pie, you’re not safe here. These things take time and though you may wish to skip the war declaration, common courtesy dictates you must still declare war so those friendly to you will be aware of your war’s existence and then either join in your war or get the hell out of the damn way if they don’t like it. You don’t want their help if that’s how they are going to be about it.
In order to declare war you must determine … More
User Interface Spec Doc:
Let’s worry about the thegns. We’ve worried about the thegns before, but these poor bastards have a lot on their plate. They’re the glam squad for a bunch of divas going to war, and it’s a lot. Have you ever gone to war? You need to bring a lot of stuff. Have you ever hung out with a diva? You need to bring more. Are you a diva? Then you know. Exacting standards. Everything perfect down to the last whatever. Don’t piss off the divas, they’re prickly. They’ll cut you. Just give them what they want, when they want it, or they’ll make your life a living hell. Detail detail detail. The divas didn’t just wake up like that, you think it’s easy to look good on a horse? You think that bow they’re carrying around looks impressive and dangerous just like that on its own? You know the answer. Beauty is pain … More
You have shot your arrow, congratulations! Now you must hit your target. Hopefully you chose a nice wide target that is standing still. If your target is motionless ascertain if it is sentient and if it is conscious. If so, make sure it is aware you are shooting at it, for the arrow one foresees arrives more gently.
If your target is in motion, determine why your target is in motion. Is your target being pulled or propelled somehow, or is it moving under its own power? If your target is moving itself, ask your target why is it in motion? This is only common courtesy. Under circumstances such as these, politeness is a target we all must aim for.
If your target is in rapid motion, the element of speed might prevent or preclude its reply to your inquiry. In this case you must determine the direction of your target’s motion. If it … More
Our three body problem’s a bit of a riddle
Though our moods be discordant together we cling
Our center is everywhere and circumference the middle
We’re like Efimov dolls or a Borromean ring
Trinity’s not right, syzygy’s too twee
We won’t hum in pairs but as a trio we sing.
What’s your decree? What’s our wee rule of three?
(Though you should be aware we burn to Vern’s fiddle)
X is not Y and neither is Z.
Ye old. Ye olde. Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. Olde is an affected way to make the word old look old. Olde looks old but it’s really not.
Why add the E to the end of old? An E on the end of an Old English word makes it subjunctive: it might be old, maybe it’s old. Or it makes the word a plural adjective. Multiples of old. Olds. Old squared.
Ye Olds Curiosity Shop. In Old English “ye” which looked like “ðe” (there was no Y in Old English) used to be strictly nominative plural. Y’all with me? Then it morphed to personal pronoun: second person dative singular. To you. I say this to you, Olds Curiosity shop. Old2 Curiosity Shop, this is for you.
And. Also. Sometimes “ye” is a conjunction. You’d find it in pairs spelled with one of the letters that became g: Ȝ ȝ or Ᵹ ᵹ. Thats an upper … More
Don’t. What the hell are you thinking? Don’t grab the thorn. Why would you want to grab a thorn? Why? Are you insane? This is insane. I feel insane thinking about it. Ascertain if you are insane. It’s a thorn. Don’t touch it. Don’t look at it. Keep away from it, evil little sucker. The thorn hates you. And, it’s not just a thorn. It’s lots of thorns. The thorn has friends. And relations. The thorn will gang up and snag on when you least expect. What are you wearing? Is that what you’re wearing? Put some pants on! My God! That thorn is going to whip right across your skin. You won’t see it coming. You’ll be looking at the thorn in front and it’s the one behind will get you. With unmet cruelty. And you want to grab it. Don’t grab it! Don’t go near it. Cover yourself and stay back. God. You … More
You all right? You seem uncomfortable. Well you should be, with what’s coming to you. You got the Thorn rune. You’ve put yourself into a prickly situation so don’t grab for more or you’ll have an evil time of it. Watch where you sleep too and who with, that’s no bed of roses. Don’t even rest your eyes. You’d better listen to me sharpish, or it will be unmet cruelty for you. If you make this particular bed baby love, you’re going to have to lie in it.
Look at you, you’re a gorgeous one. Hello. Such a pleasure to see you looking so impressive today. You’re good for looking at, is this the rune you picked? Yr? It looks good on you. Where’d you get it? Goes with your eyes. Sparkling, shining, scowling some, but you’re in a hurry. I get it. Hold your horses diva. Give us a chance to see you in all your gloriousness, before you set off. You are going places and you’ll impress when you get there. Your time is coming so you’d better bring it. You look ready for this fight. When you stay ready you don’t have to get ready and you look fierce. You will be remembered. You will be worth remembering.
Say something. Go ahead, you heard me, say it and listen to yourself. Now say it about a hundred years ago. Hear it? You can hear it. Different. Speech sounds change. Accents change. You’ve changed. You think you sound the same but go back home after some distance and they’ll tell you different. And they’ll tell it to you differently. English has changed, big time, my God it’s different. It’s old. It’s medieval. Let’s think of a famous medieval person, to see how old. Somebody with a real mark of distinction. Dante. Dante Aligheri. He finished writing the Divine Comedy in 1320. He’s really really old, hundreds of years. Think of this, in this current moment we are closer in years to Dante than he was to the start of Old English. And from the Rune Poem to us he’s in the middle of the path of life. Not the runes, they’re even older, the … More
Thorn survived for ages. That kind of longevity in a dead letter deserves a eulogy. Ye, though Thorn has walked through the valley of the shadow of death it has surely found its way to the great abecedarium in the sky where it may abide in that illustrious dead letter office alongside its companions UI, IO, and EA. Dearest Thorn made it a long time, longer than most, and had a great run, bless its heart. Nettlesome old bastard. Kept showing up to things year after year with its barbed jokes and pointed comments, though it was a giant among letters and always welcome. Thorn, though our days be restlessly marked by the unmet cruelty of your loss, we take great consolation in knowing you sleep amongst the roses.
Though thorn is dead to us as a letter, the Icelandic language still uses it, so it’s really only mostly dead. There’s … More