Welcome to HELL (Part 1)

Silent Letters Say So Much …

Someone asked me at breakfast the other day, “Does anyone pronounce the ‘l’ in yolk?  I answered: I am unaware of any dialect that sounds out the ‘l’ nowadays, but at one stage in the history of English the ‘l’ was certainly pronounced. (Yolk comes, naturally, from the same root as yellow.) This is true of just about any silent letter in modern English: it shows up in the spelling because at one time it was pronounced.  This goes especially for every silent ‘e’ at the end of so many words.

(There are a handful of silent letters that were never pronounced, like the ‘b’ in debt.  This word started life in Old English as dette, but somewhere in Middle English some smarty-pants who knew a smattering of Latin realized that the Latin root debitum had a ‘b’ and decided to import it into the English spelling.  Other words with Latin letters shoehorned into them are plumber, indict, and receipt.)

If you could dial back the hands of time about 500 years, the English language would sound rather different from the way you know it today.  The untrained ear can generally make sense of the Early Modern English in its original pronunciation.  But going back to the time of Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales will confound all listeners except those with training in Middle English. There are almost no silent letters in Chaucerian English, and the long vowels are closer in quality to their counterparts in other European languages. (As you can hear here.)

What happened to all those once-sounded ‘e’s at the ends of the words?  Over the years they got worn away in pronunciation, leaving behind only a hint of their existence in that the preceding vowel is long and not short.  Linen, linear, and line come from the same root linum ‘flax’; but in line the ‘e’ went silent at the end of the word while the ‘i’ stayed long.

This process took a long time—centuries, in fact.  This is true of most sound changes: they happen so slowly as to be imperceptible to the very people adopting innovative pronunciations.  Nevertheless, we know that Chaucer pronounced most of those now-silent ‘e’s: his poetry doesn’t scan right (i.e. have the proper rhythm) if you elide them. Just looking at The Canterbury Tales in the original gives a thoughtful person the sense that, since the day when these lines were first penned, many moons have waxed and waned.  It just has to be so: language doesn’t change that much from one generation to the next—or even in two or three generations.

A similar comparison could be made between the Old English of Beowulf and the Middle English of Chaucer.  An educated reader can still pick out words and phrases in Middle English that make sense, but Old English might just as well be Mongolian.  Even a speaker of Middle English would struggle to comprehend Old English.  Again, centuries would have had to pass in order to alter the English tongue so much.

Thank heavens for the silent ‘e’.  He died phonetically so that you would not have to swallow uncritically the idea of alternative chronologies that are gaining popularity in Truther forums.  Certain academicians have proposed timelines that collapse Western history by hundreds of years.  Essentially, they perform a tummy tuck on the Middle Ages, cutting out the adipose tissue of “myth” and suturing up the ancient world to be make it closer to modern times by seven centuries or more.

To anyone with knowledge of ancient and medieval literature, though, these claims are hard to swallow.  The silent ‘e’s of English didn’t all die at once in a plague; they got washed away in the rivers of time, like the floor of the Grand Canyon. The revisionist historians simply don’t allow for enough years to pass for the evolution of Old English into Middle English.  Forget the debates over the accuracy of carbon dating. The epigraphic evidence—ancient codices and medieval manuscripts—matches the mainstream timeline of Western history pretty well.  Those who cut out centuries, claiming those periods are fictionalized repetitions of earlier ages, cannot explain how the ancient mother languages could morph into their modern daughters so quickly.

[Because it isn’t just in English. Consider ancient Greek.  At the time when the Greek alphabet was first developed (around 800 BC in the traditional chronology), it was used to distinguish many different vowels and diphthongs: α, ε, η, ι, ο, ω, ᾳ, ῃ, ῳ, αι, αυ, ει, ευ, οι, ου, υι.  Each of these were pronounced distinctly from the others, we know. After all, if you are inventing an alphabet, unconstrained by past conventions, you would naturally make a one-to-one correspondence between sounds and signs.  (Remember the ‘l’ in yolk?  It’s there because it was once pronounced.)

Over time, however, these distinct vowels and diphthongs merged together somewhat.  In Modern Greek the following vowels are all pronounced the same as the letter iota (roughly the long-e sound of English): η, ι, υ, ῃ, ει, οι, υι.  This did not happen to all these vowels at the same time: evidence from inscriptions and ancient texts shows a slow evolution over the centuries, as one by one these different vowels became pronounced like iota (and hence the process is called iotacism).]

What do I know about the reliability of carbon dating, ancient eclipse records, Roman construction techniques, or marine architecture in late antiquity?  Nothing much. What kind of firsthand knowledge of these things do YOU have, independently of what some “expert” tells you?  How well equipped are you to evaluate arguments for revised chronologies based on these subjects?

But one thing you do know from firsthand experience is the language you are reading right now.  Therefore, I will try to make a case from the History of English Language and Literature (HELL, of course) that the revised chronologies do not work; and whatever faults the accepted chronology of Western history might have (and it is bound to have some), the main tracings of timelines are reliable.

Let us be wary about chiming in with the “everything is fake” mantra.  Some tout this line out of sincere belief.  But from others, I am convinced, it is part of a psyop, intended to instill complete disorientation (and hence intellectual impotence) about human history.  Those who desire to control the present and the future use the idea that “absolutely everything ever is fake” in order to erase the past as we know it, and thus to control it.

But, just as Orwell noted in his appendix to 1984, “The Principles of Newspeak,” fragments of older literature simply could not be subsumed into the paradigm of the controllers.  Its existence put the lie to Newspeak and doublethink and the deception of the memory holes.  This is precisely the kind of case I wish to build against revised chronologies.

After all, how many shifts in English phonology have you experienced in your lifetime?  Can you think of even one?  If you are old enough, you may remember a time when poor was not usually pronounced by most people the same as pour.  There are other words like that, too. But the gradualness of this change alone gives you a sense of how slowly language evolves.  There had to have been a Late Antiquity, a Middle Ages, and so on.  Otherwise, you and I should be able to read The Canterbury Tales without taking a course in Middle English.

So don’t jump too quickly on the revised chronology bandwagon, my Truther friends.  You might end up with yolk on your face—both with an ‘l’ sound and without!

In the next installment: Nothing says lovin’ like chevon from the oven …

 MR

16 thoughts on “Welcome to HELL (Part 1)

  1. Fascinating subject. Maybe there’s a connection to the numbers/letters relationship as well. English seemed to be “chosen” for the global language. Why? I have no idea, but it seemed to expand rapidly after Elizabeth I. Printing press, King James translation, followed, all pushing it forward. Divine intervention, good luck, or something else?

    Like

  2. Like everything else there are good revisions and bad revisions. I don’t believe that we have a good revision that makes sense 100% sense, but I am pretty sure (90%) that the standard chronology is not right. For now I consider the possibility of 2 great catastrophes , one around 850 BC (remember the great flood in all religions and mythologies) and one in 930AD (930AD =540AD=230AD I will explain more). So we can talk about revisionism related to the years before 850 BC and the revisionism related to 230AD-930AD. These revisions are before the age of Chaucer and even before Beowulf (but Beowulf may be something totally different).
    Regarding the very ancient chronological revisionism (before 850BC), I recommend the 4 volume Pillars of the Past series (disciples of Velikovsky) http://immanuelvelikovsky.com/ . They speak about everything: language, carbon dating, writing style, pottery, metallurgy, metal ores reserves, transportation,astronomy etc. Regarding language they show how similar was the language of the Hittites and the language of the Lydians (600-700 years apart ). The look careful at the writing of the Egyptians, the problem with agriculture (salinization of the soil is one of the most important). The only problem I have with this series is regarding astronomy and calendars. I believe that the axis of the world may have been changed after the first catastrophe (around 900-850 BC). Before the catastrophe there is the possibility that the year was around 360 days ( look on the Egyptian calendar wiki page to see the mention of 5 days month outside of the proper year). I also have a “racist” reason in not believing the very ancient chronology. The Europeans were not that important before 1000 BC according to the standard chronology .They may point to things like Stonehenge or Goseck Circle (one of the oldest solar observatories according to some), but some things don’t make sense. Then suddenly we have Greek mathematics, architecture, philosophy, technology. We can also point to Roman and Etruscan technology and architecture. The Europeans were not important, then suddenly Alexander conquers all these Asian countries without much problem (I exaggerate of course) .
    Regarding the 230AD=540AD=930 AD revision, see Gunnar Heinsohn http://www.q-mag.org/gunnar-heinsohns-latest.html . I only read his short presentations, but I find them convincing. He looks at the architecture, coins , pottery, destruction of various cities etc. I will put other links that are relevant to this late revisionism.
    There are other revisions that are more extreme. More extreme revisions exist before the 20th century (In England, Germany , Spain). I forgot the names of many authors that are more extreme (I believe I have the digital version of the book wrote by an English guy called Johnson ). More recent, we have the Russian Anatoly Fomenko . Fomenko can be useful in some respects but for me is not acceptable . The parallels drawn by him may be useful since they may contain elite symbolism. But I want discussion about agriculture, coins, metals,architecture, language, pottery, literature, historical parallels (he is somewhat good here) , astronomy, commerce, technology in general, dating methods and their problems etc. You need proofs from many directions, especially physical things.
    I want to end by saying that the origins of the elite families can be traced much easier in a shorter chronology. They may have been at an advantage after each catastrophe . In the movie the name of the rose, the abbey has a secret library with books that were supposedly lost. Of course there is the topic of book creation in medieval and renaissance times. But I believe that there are indeed some old books or sections of old books that are kept hidden even today (some books are probably modified).

    Like

    1. One question, Calgacus: how competent are you in evaluating an argument based on the affinities of the Hittite and Lydian languages? Or to put it another way … if someone were making a specious argument from two obscure dead languages, would you catch it? I wonder how many people in the world could ably sort out a fallacy in the reasoning. Maybe five, maybe ten. If you’re not one of those people, hang on to your your wallet …

      Like

      1. I already emphasized in a few comments that I am more interested in solid proofs (or more solid proofs). Documents and language are problematic. In my opinion the best evidence is related to agriculture, architecture, tools, pottery,coins, technology in general.
        I will wait for you to go more in detail regarding the English language. But the revision that I “promote” happens before Chaucer and even Beowulf. I am happy that you write on this subject, even if we have different opinions. And I agree that “everything is fake” mantra is dangerous, but the chronological revisionism is actually older than media fakery, nuke hoax , trannies etc. Of course the flat thing is also old (you find books even in 19th century).

        Like

  3. Another good source regarding chronological revisionism is the malagabay blog. I searched “beowulf” on this blog and this is the link https://malagabay.wordpress.com/?s=beowulf . He wrote a few posts related to the English language. He seems to be a Heinsohn disciple. He is also aware of Miles Mathis, but he doesn’t talk about media fakery or more modern hoaxes. He is scientific and knowledgeable.

    Like

    1. fm can you give a better explanation. I know that Petrarch discovered many writings by Cicero. Poggio Bracciolini discovered many manuscripts by various ancient authors. Some people are suspicious of Bracciolini (there are some books about him forging the Annals of Tacitus). Some people are suspicious of other Italian humanists like Petrarch. Monks are under suspicion also. But we have coins, large buildings, aqueducts under the earth (which for me proves that we had at least one great disastrous event). I don’t believe that a civilization like ours can develop in 1000 years with astronomy, math, knowledge of herbs etc. Some civillizations are probably invented (or we should say copies) like Sumerians=Scythians ( allied with Persian and together they conquered Babylon), Mitanni=Persians, Hittites=Lydians, People of the Sea=Greeks, Goths=Dacians (also known as Geta or Getae), Sarmatians=Huns=Khazarians . Some are copies, but at least one copy is real.
      Documents are problematic as I mentioned above. I believe that the elites want to cover their tracks so they modified a lot of ancient writings. You can omit sections of a book, modify a few sections (maybe a few words) or you can forge an entire book. Since the documents are problematic, physical evidence is more important. I believe that the physical evidence shows older civilizations, but the written history should be shorter. Also I believe that people existed long before the catastrophe in 850 BC.
      The elites don’t want the people to know about the real chronology and the possible 2 disasters. For example there is a Jewish ,Persian and Egyptian connection. With Christianity, Islam and Judaism they control more than 3 billion people. The extended chronology makes it harder to make the right connections.
      Maybe I will leave other relevant links. I want to show the solid ground of chronological revisionism. I am not a disciple of anybody. I like this subject and I already made a few comments regarding revisionism on this blog ( I hope I was not annoying). The proper chronology is needed to extend the research of Miles Mathis into the past. For example it is possible that the Orsini family comes from the Julian-Claudian Dynasty or that Welser family descend from Belisarius. Even the work of Ralph Ellis (fremason) makes more sense with Jesus, Izates bar Monobaz and king Arthur connection (Edessa connection). Later Baldwin becomes count of Edessa and then King of Jerusalem.

      Like

      1. I know that Petrarch discovered many writings by Cicero. Poggio Bracciolini discovered many manuscripts by various ancient authors.

        Like the others you mentioned.
        They “discovered” something in an old, forgotten monastery, “copied” it, published it with loud ballyhoo, and the “original” got soon destroyed accidently …

        As a matter of fact there does not exist any paper from ancient times (Greek, Roman, Hebrew, etc.), everything is just copies. The dead sea scrolls for example look more than suspicious – the authors should have taken more care when choosing inks.

        Some civillizations are probably invented (or we should say copies) like Sumerians=Scythians ( allied with Persian and together they conquered Babylon), Mitanni=Persians, Hittites=Lydians, People of the Sea=Greeks, Goths=Dacians (also known as Geta or Getae), Sarmatians=Huns=Khazarians .

        Other authors (Andrew Power, Nikolay Morozov, Anatoly Fomenko, for example), noticed strange “coincidences as well.
        Scyths — Scots
        Hebrew — Hibernia — Iberia
        Not to mention the identity of Nimrod/Semiramis/Tammus, Isis/Rah/Horus and Joseph/Mary/Jesus.

        I don’t claim to know what really happened, but I stopped believing any mainstream history. As a saying in my native language goes, “Believing is the opposite of Knowledge”. Some stuff might be true, but most is distorted beyond recognition, falsified or even totally invented.

        I’m neither a follower of Power, Fomenko or others. But I accept the holes and contradictions they discovered in the official story, and learned to ignore their conjectures and nationalistic ramblings.

        I try to keep an open mind, too.

        Like

        1. … “Hebrew — Hibernia — Iberia” …

          This is not an argument. It is not even really a correspondence. These are three anglicized words that have a ‘b’ and an ‘r’. If you knew something about the original forms in the original languages, this would not seem compelling at all. It is the most superficial kind of parallelomania. What is it even suggestive of?

          This is the problem with the allure of revisionist chronology. It only hangs together if you know almost nothing about the ancient subject matter at issue. If you know a little bit, it all falls apart.

          Calgacus above points us to Heinsohn. But the articles at that website just toss out remarks without a fleshed-out hypothesis anywhere. The best title is “Gunnar Hiensohn: in a nutshell.” Exactly. Where else would you find one like him? Here at Piece of Mindful, at least, you get a thesis and supporting evidence laid out in step-wise fashion. You can accept or reject the argument, but at least you get an reasoned argument.

          Like

          1. Did you read the pdf presentations. The presentations are not long but have enough information. Heinsohn probably wrote a few articles but I don’t believe you can find them for free. The Pillars of the Past books are more than 500 pages each. The info about Mitanni, Persians , Sumerians and Lydians are from The Pillars of the Past. The malagabay blog is more like Heinsohn, so you can look there for more info.
            Maarten can you tell me what revisionist authors did you read (or forum). Many chronological revisionists are probably superficial.But I believe there is some legitimate work. But lets say that in reality the revisionism (all authors, all theories) is 100% wrong. I only want to point to the best research. The best research must be put to the test. I say this because I am not interested in debates. I want to get closer to the truth, not to be on one side or the other. Of course I want to know what you say about the English language, but I believe language is one of the weaker parts (and the documents). You must talk about physical evidence (like I mentioned in the other comments) in order to put the theories to sleep. No need to go over Brutus=Britain or Hebrew=Hibernia=Iberia or other superficial phonetics (to be fair to fm, I believe that phonetics can be useful in some situations but I am not a linguist). Nonetheless I will probably continue to play the devil’s advocate, but not for the sake of the debate.

            Like

          2. This is not an argument. It is not even really a correspondence.

            This is not my argument, but those of the mentioned authors.
            And I forgot Albany/Albion — Albania …

            Don’t you think current mainstream history establishment has a hidden agenda ?
            Don’t you think earlier history establishment (the Catholic Church for a long time) had and have a hidden agenda ?
            Thus my distrust in the gigantic lie called “history”.

            Like

  4. They’re up to some sort of revisionism with the Dark Ages. They are slowly changing the textbooks to say things like “The Dark Ages really weren’t all that bad! They invented universities and many other great things!”. What’s the purpose? What are they covering up? Why? I don’t know.

    As for Calgacus, I disagree with your timelines. 10,500 BC is around the time of the Deluge/Noah’s Ark/Destruction of Atlantis/Fall of Man, not 850 BC or 930 AD. Feels like more misdirection.

    Like

    1. I believe that the Pillars of the Past series touches on the 10500 BC chronology. They touch on the erosion of the Sphinx and the great Pyramid (i believe the 10500 BC date is usually connected to the Sphinx erosion). The 930AD was not the time of the great deluge in my opinion. I believe something bigger happened in 850BC (lets say around 1000-800 BC because I don’t like a fix date), and this time period should be connected to the deluge. If you are suspicious of Velikovsky and his disciples you should see this regarding Comyns Beaumont http://www.irishoriginsofcivilization.com/comyns-beaumont.html. Beaumont was not a chronological revisionist ( but he was on the catastrophe part and he was British-centric.
      I believe that the history of man is much longer than 1000BC. I believe that the written history deals with the time after the reset (most of the ancient history books). The time before the reset is probably contained in hidden books or are referenced in an obscure manner (when they speak of the golden age, time of Cronus). Was the axis of the Earth at about 0 degrees so that some regions had perpetual spring weather (more ideal weather). I can make only speculations regarding the golden age, Atlantis.
      I don’t trust anybody 100% but I tried (will try) to give the links to the best research.

      Like

  5. Great post. I’ve been wanting to air a few thoughts but job and now a head cold have stopped me from responding. However, I do want to consider that word ‘Yolk’ as an example of a possible part of the evolutionary process of the “King’s”. I suspect it may have been originally pronounced ‘yelk’ such as ‘elk’ or ‘ilk’, the ‘E’ and ‘I’ configurations making it possible to pick up the ‘L’ that the ‘O’ configuration and attendant tongue contortions could not.
    If yolk derives from yellow, a descriptive choice, and is specific to the egg, then the truncation of ‘yellow’ with the plosive ‘K’ sound at the end of yolk could be from onomatopoeia based customs of the illiterate classes (the descriptive color combined with the sound of the egg shell tapping against the edge of the skillet) a custom of the illiterate folks actually handling eggs: Farmers, scullery maids… When the lord of the manor sat down at Sunday brunch to tuck into his omelet, he probably had little concern for the labels attending the components* of that omelet, or the components (yolk, i.e.) of the components.
    The lord also did not speak with the twang and cluck of the lower classes, so when the first dictionaries were published, I imagine the high born censors had to make a few judgment calls on how much of that lowland onomatopoeia would remain, given that the standardization of language was initially for the literate bettors with their more nuanced, multi-lingual palates.

    *Dukes and above probably were concerned with poisons on occasion…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s