1264 And All That

Posted: 16 May 2014

“Calamus velociter scribe sic scribentis”

The Battle of Lewes Memorial presented to Priory Park in 1964
The Battle of Lewes Memorial presented to Priory Park in 1964

“Speed on my pen, to write what is to come… The English army rode the heavy storm, Of mighty war, at Lewes Castle walls… For mighty was the sword; virtue prevailed, And evil men took to their heels and fled” – The Song of Lewes 1264/65.

This week marked the 750th Anniversary of one of the defining battles in English history. On that day (Wednesday), was bathed in glorious sunshine and the temperature was encouragingly higher than it has been the last few days. Even so, stepping off the train, there was a markedly quiet and subdued atmosphere – no festival mood here.

The “Dawn March” – a group of volunteer walkers – arrived at Lewes Castle at midday, while a specially commissioned “Battle of Lewes Tapestry” was revealed as the main attraction at an exhibition opened in the castle, but other than that, it was not very special. Maybe because it was a weekday, but so few people had turned up. (Most notably, this bunny was easily the the youngest attendee)

 1264

“The main engagement must have been short and bloody. Hand to hand fighting with spiked maces and the savage battle-axes… and the vicious swing of a heavy broad-bladed sword. Soon the green turf was littered with dead and dying”  – Tufton Beamish.

In the field of Landport Bottom, to the northwest of Lewes, Simon de Montfort led his rebel army against the royal forces of King Henry III (1216-72) who had arrived at the Priory of St Pancras, then one of the largest religious houses in the kingdom, to honour the feast of that saint.

Having stubbornly refuted all calls for constitutional reform, Henry had inadvertantly set off what is known as the “Second Baronial War.” The crucial moment came when the Royalists scattered a contingent of London volunteers; the pursuit followed the banks of the river Ouse, into which it has been estimated that up to 60 rebels may have drowned.

With the Royal army broken up, de Montfort initiated a devastating counteroffensive culminating in Richard, King of the Romans (and Henry’s brother), taking refuge in a windmill and Henry himself fleeing back to the Priory…

priory

“And now it is all gone – like an unsubstantial pageant faded; and between us and the old English there lies a gulf of mystery which the prose of the historian will never adequately bridge” – Froude.

The Priory of St Pancras – from 1100 up until the mid-16th century – was the leading Cluniac House in England. This “splendid edifice” was founded by William and Gundrada de Warenne,with construction commencing in 1077. At its prime during the 12th century, it was startlingly huge, with up to 100 monks residing here.

Without a doubt, its most trying time came in May 1264; not only did the monks have to provide food and supplies for all the King’s men and their horses, but the Battle reached the Priory gates – the church was hit by flaming arrows but damage was minimal. Henry III was defeated and had to surrender his sword at the Priory. In Annals, written by a resident monk, it is said that “2,700 more or less” perished that day, although the actual tally is still debated.

The next day,  the king agreed to a settlement known as the “Mise of Lewes,” which led to the first recorded elected parliament held that following year. The system of governance today at Westminster, London, stemmed from the drama which unfolded at that Priory 750 years ago.

Unfortunately, the opulent grandeur of this extensive site did not escape the Dissolution of the Monasteries instigated by Henry VIII. Portinari, an Italian engineer, was dispatched in 1538 by Thomas Cromwell, the King’s chief minister, to destroy the building.

The ruined fragments still standing are suitably impressive and inspirational; it would be quite a tranquil place if it wasn’t for the fact that the train to/from Brighton races through the middle of what was once the Great Hall.  A memorial was installed on this ground to mark the 700th Anniversary.

Hopefully, the people of Lewes will turn out for the costumed procession scheduled for tomorrow. Are they proud of living adjacent to one of English history’s most important battlefields? Or do they not wish to dwell on the fact that so many died gruesome deaths fighting for the right to have a fairer system?

 

No Wizard, No Way! Why Oz Sucks

Posted: 4 April 2014.

I can't take this...
I can’t take this…

“It’s a movie that speaks of Hollywood’s unacknowledged fascination with the exotic, the mad, the unreal” – Peter Bradshaw.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) is regarded universally as one of the most endearing and best-loved movie classics of all time. Based on the fantasy adventure by L. Frank Baum, this musical adaptation was a major hit for MGM and has become the most beloved family film of all time.

Nuts…

This movie critic seemingly stands alone in finding it the most ludicrous overblown tosh, quite aware that the Blogosphere’s collective ire will be well and truly shaken, and brought down upon him. So what is it about this “beloved classic” that disagrees with me so?

Quite frankly, the whole caboodle just comes across as too treacly for me, always has – so sweet it makes me feel nauseous. Judy Garland, and her three cohorts, are quite annoying, the wicked witch is too much of a caricature; the flying monkeys (give me a break!) and the munchkins will forever live in infamy – “drunken midgets swinging from the rafters” stated one source. And goodness, one just cannot tolerate those songs!

All of you may scoff at me, but it should be said that my father shared my disapproval, and actually would have had much harsher words to say against this truly abominable spectacle.  

Please, don't let me see her face again!
Please no, not the ruby slippers! 

“My main gripes: the second hour is rather draggy… You can’t help but notice… the visible wires and painted backdrops” – Michael J. Legeros. 

On the last day before Christmas hols at junior school, the teachers thought it would be nice to treat the kids to a lovely movie. Star Wars? Would have been too obvious. Raiders? That would have been too cool!

Nope, someone actually considered subjecting us to The Wizard. Suddenly, my worst fears were realised: stuck in the middle of a packed hall, made to watch this celluloid hell-package. Having had the easy choice of switching off the TV when it first lurched into my life, there seemed to be no chance of escape this time! Those accursed monochrome moments in Kansas compelled me to take drastic action.

With a great disturbance swelling within me, this poor bunny turned to the boy next to him, and struck up a banal conversation. The plan worked – an eagle-eyed teacher spotted my incessant yakking and called me out. As if zapped by an electric charge in my seat, this lil bunny sprang to his feet and fritted away into the nearest classroom. The teachers obviously believed they were dispensing punishment, no doubt pitying my “foolish” lack of judgment; on the contrary, heh heh, Bradscribe cites this happy release, and tremendous relief, as one of his finest scholastic achievements.

What the hell - if I state that she gave me nightmares, will it support my case?
What the hell – if I state that she gave me nightmares, will it support my case?

“I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!” – The Wicked Witch of the West. 

So, has the pain subsided as the years have flown by? Heck no, this film irritated me at the tender age of seven; now, older enough to understand the horrors of this world… yep, it still disturbs me. After years of stress-relief and meditation, nothing can prepare me to sit through this. What made MGM think that making this tosh would be a good idea, even in 1939?

Let me get this straight: a teenage girl kills the first person she meets, then tags along with three strangers to kill again… and you mean to tell me this is the perfect kids movie?!

In support of my attestation that the whole spectacle was unsightly, research shows that The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) and Tin Man (Jack Haley) were deemed too frightening and, during filming, had to take their lunch to their dressing rooms as their costumes scared the living daylights out of the other canteen users.

“We’re off  to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz,” indeed. Fine, you can go and watch by all means but my instincts tell me to forever give it as wide a berth as poss.

Honestly, had this Post been published on Tuesday, none of you would have taken it seriously…

and not a moment too soon...
and not a moment too soon…

Normal blogging service will be resumed shortly.

The Reverence of Cathedrals

Posted: 31 March 2014

The Octagon, Ely Cathedral, one of the most awesome sights
The Octagon, Ely Cathedral, one of the most awesome sights

“What has proved most unexpected… is that the public has supported cathedrals both as places of a new sort of collective worship and as great art” – Simon Jenkins.

Frustrated with a dip in the quality and consistency of my writing, last year, while staying in the UK, Bradscribe took a soul-searching and belief-building Places To See Before You Die Tour up north to visit a number of cathedrals. It had been a journey envisaged for some time, but it seemed like one of those grand expeditions which would not materialise.

For a long time, cathedrals have held a reserved place in my mind, heart and soul… and in my writing.

Sometimes at the writing desk, when concentration on my fiction drifts, a quick and easy ploy to reinvigorate the word flow involves having one or more of my characters stumble into a cathedral. Nothing like attempting to describe these architectural wonders and how they excite the senses! There is also the possibility of working on a radical new History of Cathedrals…   

Not a religious person by any means, yet this writer has, nevertheless, been drawn to these magnificent buildings. At a time when church attendances are dwindling, and the tenets of religion have seemingly lost their relevance, cathedrals continue to inspire and enthral.

Worcester Cthedral stands majestically beside the river Severn
Worcester Cathedral stands majestically beside the river Severn

“I went and looked at one of these cathedrals one day, and I was blown away by it. It occurred to me… that the story of the building of a cathedral could be a great popular novel” – Ken Follett.

In July last year, carried away on the wings of instinct, Bradscribe ordered a coach ticket to Worcester. For ages, in too many glossy photos, its cathedral had taunted me with its jaw-dropping majesty, standing tall and resplendent next to the river Severn.

At last, this writer found himself on a path that runs alongside that river! Being miles away from home, in a strange town, did not matter. Unbelievably, it was a warm and gorgeous evening. The cathedral did not disappoint; it met every expectation. The conditions were just right; inspiration crept forth. Slipping out the old notebook which has travelled with me from one side of the world to the other, frantic reams of life-affirming and ebullient scribblings were made!

The interior of Lincoln Cathedral
The interior of Lincoln Cathedral

“Lincoln today still has more magnificence than any other English cathedral… It’s towered mass occupies the entire crown of its hill, and soars easily above… the old streets that twist and climb about it” – Batsford & Fry (1934).  

Always thought Lincoln Cathedral too remote to be reached. Indeed, access could only be gained via an indirect coach route, but it is one of the most illustrious buildings in the country, so later that same week, Bradscribe was thrilled to experience it.

Both its impressive west front with its three towers: “exquisite in proportion as in texture,” and the sheer elongated scale of the opulently-decorated nave: “one of spaciousness and restrained dignity” were absolutely awe-inspiring. Hours were gleefully spent ambling through its transepts and aisles, formulating the mental images that will linger with me forever.

The magnificent Ely Cathedral
The magnificent Ely Cathedral

The last leg of my tour took me to the enchanting town of Ely, another of those magical classics of medieval monumental architecture.

Talk about last but not least! This cathedral, one of the most revered in England, proved to be just as amazing as the others mentioned above. In some aspects, Ely Cathedral surpasses them. Certainly, such features as the intricately decorated long ceiling of the nave and the charming 14th century Lady Chapel are particularly notable. Yet it is the Octagon, a mighty complex structural achievement over the crossing (where the north and south transepts join the nave), which stands unreservedly as my favourite feature of Medieval engineering. Can’t remember how long it took, just sitting under it, staring with incredulous wonder. This feature alone was worth the arduous coach and train journeys that week.

Ultimately, the urge to visit these edifices of awesomeness, hitherto only gawped at in guidebooks, was greatly justified. My frustrations had dissipated; my motivation restored. Truly, these stupendous monuments are a testament to the fantastic and opulent heritage which England should strive to preserve.

Long may they continue to offer boundless inspiration to my writing.

 

The Cosmic Latte: How The Night Sky Inspires And Boggles

Posted: 21 March 2014

Wherever you are in the world, the night sky always amazes
Wherever you are in the world, the night sky always amazes

“…Every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.  

Many moons ago, when standing in front of big brilliant bonfires on chilly Autumn nights, Bradscribe would crane his beady little eyes to scour the wondrous aerial canopy of stars. Through college, university, a mundane office job and now freelance writing and multifarious online shenanigans, the stars have never failed to bewitch me.

At this stage of my life, settled in the humid climate of Southeast Asia, the comfortingly cool nocturnal breeze offers a welcome respite. Working into the night (and usually right through until dawn) there is alway the chance of stepping out into the quiet night and gazing skywards to the myriad of shiny dots sprawled across the dark blanket of night.   

Everyone should stop to savour the sheer silence, serenity and solitude of the night sky.

Starlight – in technical terms – is electromagnetic radiation. Interestingly enough, while researching my piles files of astronomical literature, someone somewhere has determined that the average colour of starlight resembles “a shade of yellowish white,” amusingly branded as: “Cosmic Latte” (…!)

Admittedly, on one or two occasions, characters in my fiction have sought solace in the night sky as they try to unravel the problems in their lives… which this writer afflicted on them, of course! By gad, what a bounder this lil bunny is! 

The night time is the right time
The night time is the right time

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly coloured than the day” – Vincent Van Gogh.

During the good or bad times, productive or slow sessions, or just lying on the beach pondering where the next stage of my life should lead, the night sky – modern light pollution permitting – has always made for a marvellous spectacle. So it comes as absolutely no surprise that people from ancient cultures around the world held the night sky in high esteem; it influenced their knowledge of agricultural, astronomical and astrological matters.

Let’s not forget the aid of celestial navigation to ancient seafarers, with 58 stars selected and named in antiquity by the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Babylonians and Arabs. The most notable of these is Polaris, the “North Star,” due to its proximity to the north celestial pole.

Despite the persistence of stargazing since time immemorial, this year sees only the 200th anniversary of the establishment of study into starlight spectroscopy: the examination of the stellar spectra.

Some gaze skywards to catch the arrival of an extraterrestrial kind; but then again, this bunny’s lived long enough to realise that – considering all the despicable and negative commonalities unfortunately prevalent throughout human nature – if aliens are intelligent and able to travel here, they would be imbued with the good sense to stay away from the likes of us!

The constellation of Orion in the southwest sky
The constellation of Orion in the southwest sky

“Humans are natural-born scientists. When we’re born, we want to know why the stars shine…” – Michio Kaku.  

The most beguiling feature of the night sky has to be the constellation of Orion. It is certainly the most recognisable, and one of the most awe-inspiring celestial wonders. Named after the hunter of Greek mythology, it is visible predominantly during winter in the southwest sky.

The Orion Nebula is a star formation 1,500 light years from Earth. The three stars of Alnilam, Mintaka and Alnitak, constitute the feature known as Orion’s Belt; the Ancient Egyptians deemed it necessary to align the three pyramids at Giza with Orion’s Belt. The Great Pyramid even has air shafts pointing to Orion. Trying to explain the need to recreate this on Earth has fuelled many theories and discussions, but the real answer still eludes us. 

In the scheme of things, the chance to spot a shooting star is always nice; astoundingly, around 15,000 tonnes of these meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere each year.

For thousands of years, people have gazed skywards; it’s gratifying to realise that one is a participant in such an exalted pastime. It is hoped that long after this lil bunny has shuffled off this mortal plane, countless more curious souls will eagerly revel in the wonders of the night sky.

 

The Sensational Inspirational Blog

Posted: 15 March 2014

Concentrate the mind on the task at hand
Concentrate the mind on the task at hand

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve, regardless of  how many times you may have failed in the past” – Napoleon Hill.

By far, the best machine we possess is our own mind. Fortunately, Bradscribe was blessed with awesome English skills. Ever since one can remember, writing – whether it be fiction or non-fiction – has always played a prominent role in my life.

However, in the last 48 hours, a fearsome fever: skin burning up; nerve endings exceptionally sensitive; splitting headache; dizzy spells; you-name-it-this-bunny’s-had-it, has struck me down. Big. Time.

In short, my body feels like it’s been hit by a car.

Obviously, this has put a serious dent in my writing/blogging schedule. It’s amazing to think that prior to this unsavoury onset, my mind was positively brimming with good ideas; but when this crept up on me unbeknownst, all that promising stuff evaporated. Too often in my tender youth, illnesses would beset my system; thus, too often my active imagination wondered how these despicable intrusions could be willed out of my system…

Consider, dear friends, the marvel and sheer complexity of the human brain; it puts into perspective how poor this annoying so-called cutting-edge technology we are compelled to buy with money we don’t have, really is…

Don't give up! Savour the good things in life
Don’t give up! Savour the good things in life

“Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Don’t sell out” – Christopher Reeve.

How on Earth does the essence of an idea ever mterialise in the first place?

Apparently what drives the creative processes remains inexplicable, but what we do know: when ideas are generated (especially by this undervalued noddle), rather than emanating from either the left or right sides of the brain, actually both hemispheres work in unison to create that special spark. But what produces the motivation? That need to carry on when all hope is lost?

Yes folks, Kismet has blown sand in Bradscribe’s face more times than he cares to remember.

Once upon a time, a veritable stream of rejections swirled my way. Then it was reduced to a mere trickle. Now, not only have they dried up, but due to those copious never-ending technical difficulties, my Inbox has become inaccessible.

How – in the face of such sheer adversity – does this lil bunny manage to keep going?

"By living life for itself, don't you see?Deriving pleasure from the gift of pure being"
“By living life for itself, don’t you see?Deriving pleasure from the gift of pure being”

“If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him” – Buddha.

No matter what technical, physical or financial problems lay siege to my battered mind – living in a country where Buddhism takes precedence – the gift of Meditation proved to be such a benefit. It came in particularly handy during my Southeast Asian office job, where the unfriendly inhouse atmosphere and stress combined with the noise and chaos of city life.

Even now, when my carefully constructed plans have not gone as well as hoped, the time and opportunity to sit back and meditate does come in pretty handy. Considering all that has been lost over the last few years – money, work, data disks, contacts, friends, trust, motivation – somehow this humble blogging bunny, (still a small name in a big Blogosphere) has come through so much (a little ruffled), yet persevered and retained his hop, skip and jump.

Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, but make the most of what we have today, that’s for sure. Perhaps this is the main reason why most of my creative processes are reserved for reconstructing history. This discipline offers reassuring escapism as well as the comfort of nostalgia.

In an otherwise disappointing television adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles (1980), a speech of such insightful and inspirational depth concerning the Secret of Life was given by a Martian – a figment of the past; his words have resonated with me since that first viewing many moons ago. They have invigorated my own writing sometimes, and perhaps lie at the core of why Bradscribe just refuses to give up.  

It is hoped this quote will have a profound effect on you, dear reader. Goodnight. 

“Secret! There is no secret. Anyone with eyes can see the way to live.

“By watching life, observing nature, cooperating with it. Making common cause with the process of existence…

“…Life is it’s own answer, accept it and enjoy it day by day. Live as well as possible, expect no more. Destroy nothing, humble nothing, look for fault in nothing, leave unsullied and untouched all that is beautiful. Hold that which lives in all reverence, for life is given by the sovereign of our universe, given to be savoured, to be luxuriated in, to be… respected.

“But that’s no secret, you’re intelligent! You know as well as I what has to be done.”

 

The Appliance of Science

Posted: 9 March 2014

Putting the science into science fiction
Putting the science into science fiction

“Fiction stimulates science as it points to a future we should strive for” – Siddhartha Srinivasa. 

How much science is there in science fiction these days?

When working on sci-fi stories many moons ago, the attention would usually stay on the drama, before worrying about the scientific subtleties later. Yet watching some prominent movies in the genre, it looks like nobody else bothered to research the basic laws of frizbees physics either!

As these words are being meticulously crafted, the reboot of Cosmos is about to be aired. The original, with Carl Sagan, is fondly remembered as such a masterly blend of enlightening education and engaging entertainment. Its knowledgable and charming host has sadly departed, so it would be difficult to find a personality strong and smart enough to take his place. Hopefully, a new generation of scientists can be inspired by this venture to advance our knowledge further.

Thre are various movies praised by scientists for their effectiveness at presenting science in a good light, such as: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Andromeda Strain (1971) and Blade Runner (1982).

Nevertheless, there are those celluloid offerings which can only be the work of dreamers, bereft of any cosmological concerns or, for that matter, devoid of any essential logic. 

Some more gravity in sci-fi movies would be nice
Some more gravity in sci-fi movies would be nice

“Some cause must have created all this, but what caused that cause?” – Dr Hans Reinhardt.  

The very first movie that Bradscribe watched at the cinema was The Black Hole, Disney’s first jump onto the Star Wars bandwagon. At such a young and impressionable age, it seemed like a mesmerising romp with a big spaceship, a coterie of droids large and small, and that gargantuan terror itself: a perpetually swirling masterpiece of late-’70s visual effects.

Unfortunately, the benefit of hindsight and acquired cosmological knowledge has put this old fave under scrutiny. Everyone can walk, run and fire blasters, even when the integrity of the USS Cygnus is breached, even blasted open! Let’s face it, grown accustomed to stock footage of real astronauts free-floating inside the orbiting ISS, how can people in any space movie still stick to the floor when their spacecraft is literally breaking up? Considering this year’s Best Picture is entitled: Gravity, let’s have some more of it!

And how is everyone all able to breathe? Honestly!

What about that Black HoleV.I.N.CENT and his human buddies get sucked in, swirled around a tad, then spat out, apparently unscathed – a likely story!

The Core (2003) is often included in Most Implausible Sci-Fi Movies lists, but then, it is defeated at the outset by the absurd Earth-stopped-rotating premise. Loved Stanley Tucci’s performance, although that doesn’t defend its multitude of mistakes. For instance, when a colossal diamond breaches the hull of their amazing tunnelling machine, the crew complain how hot it’s getting. Ha! Most likely, magma would flood in and melt them all within seconds. The End. 

Probably the most cringe-inducing of these accursed misfires is Armageddon (1998) in which the implausibilities are too numerous and imbecilic to dissect individually here, so we’ll just move on…

Dark and cramped: Alien helped give a more realistic sci-fi view
Dark and cramped: Alien helped give a more realistic sci-fi view

“… A future where space has become part of the industrial fabric. It will be a commonplace working environment, sometimes boring, sometimes dangerous, like an offshore oil-rig – not an exotic lab” – Tom Jones (the astronaut).

One of the top sci-fi films highly regarded amongst the scientific community is Alien (1979).

Most significantly, the commercial towing spaceship Nostromo is slow, dark, cramped and prone to tech glitches, most unlike the zippy lightspeed spacecraft of more fanciful interstellar fare.

And it’s gratifying to see the three members of the landing-party trudge around in bulky, cumbersome spacesuits, rather than be “beamed” down in nothing more than an ill-fitting pair of pyjamas and combat boots to a planet with a miraculously breathable atmosphere…

But the Alien itself, albeit seen for the most part in fleeting glimpses, is not only a wonder of conceptual design, brought brilliantly to realisation by Swiss surrealist: H. R. Giger, but, as any bioengineering researcher will tell you, its xenomorph life-cycle is apparently derived from parasitic wasps on Earth.

Here and there, someone deems creative licence necessary to enhance the science in science fiction movies.

Somehow, methinks Carl Sagan would definitely not have approved.

 

OMG: Lol and Behold

Posted: 28 February 2014

How writing and its technology has changed in the last few years...
How writing and its technology has changed in the last few years…

“Language changes very fast” – John Maynard Smith.

As a wordsmith trained in more traditional ways of writing, Bradscribe cannot help but notice the strange, swift and staggering shuffle that has beset the English languge in the last twenty years.

When at university (and loving every windswept, rain-soaked minute of it), up to seventeen years ago(!), mobile phones were just catching on; it swiftly became apparent that texting was becoming the new norm for faster and shorter communication.

With a monumental growth in urbanization, and a corresponding rise in the percentage of the world population who inhabit an urban environment, work-patterns and lifestyles in general have altered tremendously. Cultural values have played a part in the transformation of language(s); but ultimately, the phenomenal proliferation of hand-held technology has had a dramatic impact, bringing a new wave cascade of abbreviated, truncated, slang-driven jargon – completely ripping up the rules of language and how it is utilised. The “written word” seems to be an out-dated concept in itself, with this tendency to text, and even use symbols (emoticons being particularly rife) on rapidly evolving small, touch-type devices.

New words constantly enter the English language (directly derived from texting and other communicative media no less), while disused ones drop into oblivion; moreover, existing words have been swiped by the new-gen to carry entirely different denotations.  

These days, less people write longhand, while more people text
These days, less people write longhand, while more people text

“Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Whether it be on the train in England, or in the shopping malls of Thailand, most people seem to have their heads bowed towards their smartphones, endlessly texting, besides loading apps or playing useless games. Bradscribe just glances at this thoroughly modern crowd with a slight amused grin.  If the trains weren’t so ridiculously packed, you could most likely find me ROTFL.

One would say this scene is extraordinary, but it is so mind-bogglingly prevalent that it must surely now count as ordinary activity.

Interestingly, if a peep at some of their texts was possible, the chances of actually understanding any of the slang and abbreviations on show would be minimal. This should not come as a surprise. Such is the bewilderment of a constantly fluctuating language, transmogrifying through multifarious phases since its inception as Old English (derived from Old German) in tangible written form during the 5th century CE. Shaped by social upheavals of the Medieval Period, it twisted and turned into what is labelled Middle English, and then into Early Modern English, before settling on the Modern English used in the present.

With the upgrades in English Comprehension described (and dreaded!) above, it would appear that we are already immersed in the next tantalising stage of this incredible linguistic journey.  

The most widely used language in the world is constantly changing.
The most widely used language in the world is constantly changing.

“Viewed freely, the English language is the accretion and growth of every dialect, race, and range of time, and is both the free and compacted composition of all” – Walt Whitman.  

Increasing my presence on Facebook in the last 18 months, the major aspect one has had to get used to is working out what the mass of assorted acronyms included therein actually stand for. Easily, the most common expression to be found amidst the Comments must be the acronym:”lol,” short for Laugh Out Loud.

Originally appearing regularly on Usenet, this expression has since become ubiquitous on just about every other form of computer-mediated communication, and made its debut in the Oxford English Dictionary in March 2011. It is only in recent months that Bradscribe has succumbed to utilising it in his own brief texts.

Will my writing style have to change in order to accommodate these changes in my language? One hopes that drastic alterations will not be needed. While some people strive to move with the times,  it is comforting to know that others will appreciate my adherence to more traditional creative values.   

Part of the wonder of English lies in its ability to have adjusted and adapted across many centuries, while stagnant languages have completely died out.

It just remains to be seen what other tectonic shifts are in store for the English language, and how and when we will seize the chance to use them.