Monday, June 20, 2011

Dying words?

Ummmmmm.

Were "Lay on, Macduff, and damn'd be him that first cries 'Hold, enough!'" really Macbeths's dying words? Or were they just the last thing he says on stage?

(ps - that really ought to be "damn'd be he", right? Goodness how easily word order trumps case in English!)

Labels: ,

4 Comments:

At 11:45 PM, June 20, 2011 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

And Dickens wrote, "the law is a ass," so there ya go...

 
At 8:30 AM, June 21, 2011 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Well, Dickens was putting those words into the mouth of a character; I doubt he himself would have said it. The Shakespeare quote shows how reluctant English speakers are to use the nominative form of a pronoun anywhere but the first slot in the sentence (or when coupled to another NP by a conjunction).

(I sometimes - probably often - say 'a' before vowels, a relic of my childhood dialect.)

 
At 9:55 AM, June 21, 2011 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

"(I sometimes - probably often - say 'a' before vowels, a relic of my childhood dialect.)"

Do you think that's due to the supposed residual influence of English as it was spoken by the early white settlers in Appalachia?

 
At 12:54 PM, June 21, 2011 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

I don't know. My home town isn't really very much "Appalachian", but it is somewhat...

I think I've got three allophones: an (stressed before vowels), a (eɪ, as in 'same') stressed before consonants, and a (ə, schwa) in all unstressed positions. I don't write it, but I think that's how I speak when I'm not being careful. I may have more "an" than that, but even I can hear it sometimes "a ID, a awkward situation, a apple...".

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post

Links to this post:

Create a Link

     <-- Older Post                     ^ Home                    Newer Post -->