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View Diary: Origins of English: The Great Vowel Shift (148 comments)

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  •  the biblical "Red Sea"(while we await reply on yr (9+ / 0-)

    query) is a great example of what re-spelling can do to meaning, if it's true what i'm told that the 1611 edition spelled it "Rede" sea, meaning "reed" which is in fact what it is in the original (Yahm Soof - sea of reeds).  Later editions removed the ending "e" and voila, centuries of bible scholars arguing and rationalizing --and cecile b.demille twice making movies showing special FX of-- people getting across the Red Sea on foot.  :)

    •  Spelling and Meaning (3+ / 0-)

      That's an intriguing example.  I don't know if the 1611 spelled it 'rede', I'd have to look it up.  The KJV went through a number of editorial changes; mostly they were changes of spelling, punctuation, and the correcting of typos.  I may have my dates off a little, but I believe the spelling wasn't stabilized until the late 1700's; it was at that time that English really began to have 'proper' spelling, the kind you could be graded on at school.

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