21 April 2011

On the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, a little history:

"He was regarded as a foreigner," says Gordon Campbell, a historian at the University of Leicester in England. "He spoke with a heavy Scottish accent, and one of the things he needed to legitimize himself as head of the Church of England was a Bible dedicated to him."

And we're not talking about a Gordon Brown-like accent, either. James VI's English was about as far from Elizabeth I's as the drug dealers on The Wire are from Barack Obama.

A good example of Scots English from this time is Gavin Douglas' Aeneid:

Laude, honor, prasingis, thankis infynite
To the, and thi dulce ornate fresch endite,
Mast reverend Virgill, of Latyne poetis prince,
Gemme of ingine and fluide of eloquence,
Thow peirles perle, patroun of poetrie,
Rois, register, palme, laurer, and glory,
Chosin cherbukle, cheif flour and cedir tree,
Lanterne, leidsterne, mirrour, and a per se...

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