Things I Said in Anglo-Saxon Literature
One of my students in Anglo-Saxon Literature this semester kept a list of things I said that he found amusing. Maybe you will as well.
On false impressions of the Middle Ages) Well, you tell Prof. Mulholland [specialist in 18th-C] that everyone in the Eighteenth Century had syphilis.
(In Yoda voice): Told you I did. Listen you did not. Now screwed we all shall be. There. I just showed you why natural languages don't use VSO order and summarized the Star Wars I-III.
The Finnish language looks like someone threw some vowels on a plate and shook it real hard.
I went through grammar school in the 70's and 80's when they didn't teach us any actual content--we just expressed ourselves all the time.
(On bloodletting) You get a nice slash from a dirty lancet, and you'll feet better--until you get festering gangrene.
It's a happy day when you have vowels. Otherwise it's like speaking Eastern European languages that only have consonants.
I definitely get the impression that Dutch and Finnish used up all the vowels and so there were none left when the other languages got to pick.
(On the wolf in The Passion of St. Edmund) "I am in ur woodz, garding ma haid."
(On circumcision and conversion) "I have to cut off what? I'll stay pagan, thanks."
(On why Athelstan's not having children does not mean he was gay) There were plenty of European rulers who were gay and had children... they just closed their eyes and thought of England for a few minutes.
I've always said that Beowulf should have beaten Grendel with the arm after he ripped it off while yelling at the monster "Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself, huh?" -- Yes, I have a little brother. Why do you ask?
If you want to know what a gusla sounds like, imagine a cat being fed through a wood-chipper.
(Repeatedly) We in medieval studies often make a fuss about how intellectually studly we are.
Unless you are Nathaniel Hawthorne, you don't need to use the word "sepulcher." And if you are Nathaniel Hawthorne, you use it every six lines.
It's always good to have a talk about cannibalism. Plus, it's in the Vercelli Book, so Score! I'm all set.
Athelthryth -- I can't imagine why that name hasn't made a comeback.
Anglo-Saxon fun: "Let's go drink a lot. And: let's bring weapons!"
My Anglo-Saxon class this year is more intelligent and motivated than my Anglo-Saxon class eight years ago. Don't pat yourself on the back -- I'm still going to make you suffer.