Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Nerd alert

This week is the final week of our athletic season, such as it is, and we're going to go out to dinner for some sort of consolation celebration tonight, because once again we won't win the T-shirts.

But we've had a really great season (greatness defined in terms of laughter), and now we'll move into stealth practice mode for next season. We've been doing this athletic stuff for a couple years now, and despite our stealth practice, I don't think I've improved much at all.

We did our athletic thing last week, and once again, no one was injured. So all in all, it was a good night. The opposing team was lots of fun, and we cheered for each other and teased when they did so well that it got "boring" and told them they should back off to raise the suspense for the television audience. We did our cheer for them and they duly admired our PINK and black shirts.

The best team laugh recently was when one of my teammates asked, "Did you hear the joke about methatesis?" (Look below ** if you have doubts about your true nerdliness.)

I swear, I screwed up my next three attempts because I couldn't control myself rethinking it and laughing. Yes, my athletic team, we're like what you get when a mob enforcer starts reading lots of Derrida, an offer you can't understand.

I couldn't wait to tell my Chaucer class, and they tried to laugh politely. Then later in the week, one of them teased about it after class and got big laughs from the others standing around. They've also begun to make queynte little jokes with Middle English puns and such.

**Bardiac's team nerdliness quiz, the answer: Metathesis is a word to describe linguistic change when two sounds (often a vowel and consonant) change position in a word over time. The classic example is that Middle English "brid" becomes Early Modern English "bird." There are LOTS of "r" plus a vowel changes, it seems: thrid>>third, thourgh>>through, and so forth.

I think "aks">>"ask" is also an example, as would be the reversal (back to "aks") that happens in various dialects nowadays.

Oddly enough, "flutterby" >> "butterfly" is evidently NOT a real metathesis, since the Old English was "buttorfleoge" where "g" represents yogh because I'm not a real linguist or Anglo-Saxonist, and I don't have a special phonetic or other alphabet set downloaded.

On the other hand, Heo Cwaeth IS a real Anglo-Saxonist, and apparently a nerd in the best sense of the word. She has a great post about a medieval woman she adores. Read it with admiration! Then look around and read some of her other posts. Good stuffs!!


  1. So, I'm a nerd, am I? Why I oughtta...

    Nah! I embraced nerdhood quite some time ago. Thanks for the link.

  2. It was meant as a compliment!!!!!