The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing
It appears that people are picking up on Old English poetic vibes without knowing it. Leto and Cracker both want to start posts with ‘So’. Whether they know it or not, this is a possible translation of the Old English word hwæt. Seamus Heaney used it in his translation of Beowulf, saying:
Conventional renderings of hwæt, the first word of the poem, tend towards the archaic literary, with ‘lo’, ‘hark’, ‘behold’, ‘attend’ and — more colloquially — ‘listen’ being some of the solutions offered previously. But in Hiberno-English Scullion-speak, the particle ‘so’ came naturally to the rescue, because in that idiom ‘so’ operates as an expression that obliterates all previous discourse and narrative, and at the same time functions as an exclamation calling for immediate attention.
Also, as pointed out in Eight Old English poems, hwæt is metrically unstressed (usually), and so
emphatic (and archaic) glosses like ‘Lo!’ and ‘Hark!’ seem misapplied.
So there you go.
Posted by jamie on November 15, 2003 10:54+13:00