The Language of Chaucer

NPR has an article on “Why Chaucer Said ‘Ax’ Instead of ‘Ask.'”

Jesse Sheidlower, the president of the American Dialect Society, says “ax” has been used for a thousand years. “It is not a new thing; it is not a mistake,” he says. “It is a regular feature of English.”

Sheidlower says you can trace “ax” back to the eighth century. The pronunciation derives from the Old English verb “acsian.” Chaucer used “ax.” It’s in the first complete English translation of the Bible (the Coverdale Bible): ” ‘Axe and it shall be given.’

NOTE: Use this for my Brit Lit I class and for linguistics.

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