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Old 02-18-2013, 10:40 PM   #1
Bthberry
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nglisc Ƿikipǣdia

Yes, I'm sure that title has got everyone's attention! Even Tolkien might raise an eyebrow over it.

Apparently some wights are attempting to start an Old English Wikipedia. It is all in Old English, so it really is a bit of a specialty page. But obviously there are folks who don't think that learning Old English is all that weird.


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Formendacil you have more reason now.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:46 AM   #2
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So very, very tempting indeed.

Bookmarked for future trawling!
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:58 AM   #3
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Apparently some wights are attempting to start an Old English Wikipedia.
One such wight, at your service.

Actually, though I've long been registered there, I don't think I've contributed much, if anything. But I've found their Hu secge ic and Neologism proposals pages a useful starting point in coming up with my own glossary of Old English terms for modern concepts. (I once thought of translating my dissertation into Old English, but I was quite exhausted just getting through the title. But I have written a fragment of alliterative verse on the subject of the search for dark matter. What? Hey . . . where's everyone going?)
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aiwendil View Post
One such wight, at your service.

Actually, though I've long been registered there, I don't think I've contributed much, if anything. But I've found their Hu secge ic and Neologism proposals pages a useful starting point in coming up with my own glossary of Old English terms for modern concepts. (I once thought of translating my dissertation into Old English, but I was quite exhausted just getting through the title. But I have written a fragment of alliterative verse on the subject of the search for dark matter. What? Hey . . . where's everyone going?)
Quite amazing, Aiwendil! I used 'wight' as a general term and wasn't thinking specifically of any of us dead wights. Very cool.

How long is this fragment of alliterative verse on the search for a ring, um, erm, dark matter? Would you be willing to share it?
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bthberry View Post
... Very cool.

How long is this fragment of alliterative verse on the search for a ring, um, erm, dark matter? Would you be willing to share it?
Ditto. I'm also curious. I presume you're refering to Cold Dark Matter, the stuff that's been invented to balance the mathematics?
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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How long is this fragment of alliterative verse on the search for a ring, um, erm, dark matter?
Not long at all. Here it is (breaking off in the middle of a sentence):

Nu w sculon scan mid searwe and crfte,
dop and degol, t deorc andweorc,
a gastlican grot a one gang rǽda
hara fra in feldum heofona,
ymbhweorfa and stera a steorra-hwol,
a tungol-wolcen, to and lda.
s floccas mǽte frenra gimma
swa sandgrotu sind urh sweglu ge-strawode.
Wd-brdran get, swa webbes rdas,
sigel-hordas in swlendum hefeldum,
urh rmetu unrime rodores a-enia,
be ge-wealde ge-wefene ara wcra grota.
Timbren w oor rymmfstes styles,

Literal translation: Now we must seek with art and skill, deep and hidden, the dark matter, the ghostly particles that govern the course of high fires in the fields of the heavens, [that] turn round and steer the star-wheels, [that] pull and lead the star-clouds. Those immense companies of fiery gems like sand-grains are strewn through the skies. Vaster still, like the strands of a web, the sun-hordes extend in burning threads through immeasurable spaces of the firmament, woven by the power of the weak [i.e. interacting via the 'weak force'] particles. Let us build a sphere of mighty steel,

It was going to go on to describe the detector for the experiment I work on and then imagine a particle of dark matter interacting within it. Maybe I'll write more - it is rather fun. I especially enjoyed coming up with those kennings for 'galaxy'.

Quote:
I presume you're refering to Cold Dark Matter, the stuff that's been invented to balance the mathematics?
Yes. A brief explanation, because I can't help myself: when we look at the way galaxies and galaxy clusters rotate, and at the way galaxies are distributed throughout space, it looks as though there is a lot more mass in and around them than what you'd think if you just consider stars, planets, dust, and that sort of thing. So the hypothesis is that the universe is filled with some unknown kind of particle that hardly interacts at all with normal matter. The poem specifically has in mind something called a WIMP - Weakly Interacting Massive Particle - and a detector searching for such an entity.

Last edited by Aiwendil; 02-24-2013 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Corrected an inflection.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Aiwendil View Post
Not long at all. Here it is (breaking off in the middle of a sentence):

Nu w sculon scan mid searwe and crfte,
dop and degol, t deorc andweorc,
a gastlican grot a one gang rǽda
hara fra in feldum heofona,

ymbhweorfa and stera a steorra-hwol,
a tungol-wolcen, to and lda.
s floccas mǽte frenra gimma
swa sandgrotu sind urh sweglu ge-strawode.

Wd-brdran get, swa webbes rdas,
sigel-hordas in swlendum hefeldum,
urh rmetu unrime rodores a-enia,
be ge-wealde ge-wefene ara wcra grot.
Timbren w oor rymmfstes styles,

Literal translation:

Now we must seek with art and skill,
Deep and hidden, the dark matter,
The ghostly particles that govern the course
Of high fires in the fields of the heavens,

[That] turn round and steer the star-wheels,
[That] pull and lead the star-clouds.
Those immense companies of fiery gems
Like sand-grains are strewn through the skies.

Vaster still, like the strands of a web,
The sun-hordes extend in burning threads
Through immeasurable spaces of the firmament,
Woven by the power of the weak [i.e. interacting via the 'weak force'] particles.
Let us build a sphere of mighty steel,
.
Wow. The whole thing makes me imagine R. Dawkins, S. Hawking, B.Cox and D.Attenborough wearing furs and sitting around a fire telling tales of old. You've even managed to get the name Deagol in there [degol = hidden/secretive]. Was that an intentional reference to how you see yourself, as the finder of the Ring? If so watch out, Mr Hawking wants a birthday present.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ardent
Was that an intentional reference to how you see yourself, as the finder of the Ring?
Oh goodness, no. For one thing, there are lots and lots of dark matter searches going on these days and the chances that the particular effort I work on will be the one to find it are very slim indeed. Moreover, dark matter (despite the sinister-sounding name) is about as far from the Ring as you could imagine; if found, it'll have no practical applications at all, let alone malevolent ones. I certainly did think of a certain unfortunate hobbit when I wrote that line though.

I seem to have inadvertantly hijacked this thread, for which I apologize.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Aiwendil View Post
I seem to have inadvertantly hijacked this thread, for which I apologize.
Oh, not at all. I did ask if we could see the alliterative verse, after all.

I had been hoping it would not be long so as not to tax my very rusty (decades old) OE skills. The first verse I could muster a translation of, but your kennings would have defeated me.

It reads very well, rhythm and cadence. That's what won me over to OE (I was rather obstreperous as we had to take it)--its aural beauty. I can imagine Tolkien enjoying this, thinking of how to work dark matter into yet another niggling of the Legendarium.

Thanks, Aiwendil. Can I send this on to a friend I have who teaches Old English?
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bethberry
Can I send this on to a friend I have who teaches Old English?
Certainly. And if he or she has any suggestions or corrections, I'd love to hear them. My OE is completely self-taught, and it would not astonish me if I had gotten an inflection wrong somewhere.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiwendil View Post
One such wight, at your service.

Actually, though I've long been registered there, I don't think I've contributed much, if anything. But I've found their Hu secge ic and Neologism proposals pages a useful starting point in coming up with my own glossary of Old English terms for modern concepts. (I once thought of translating my dissertation into Old English, but I was quite exhausted just getting through the title. But I have written a fragment of alliterative verse on the subject of the search for dark matter. What? Hey . . . where's everyone going?)
## If there is a more elegant way of referring to (what are called) charm, colour, & quarks, so much the better Is there an Old English term for "baryonic matter" ? Maybe a kenning would work.... "Atom" should be easy to Old Anglicise - but what of "physics" ? Honourable mention of Democritus, Epicurus & Lucretius would seem to be called for...

Last edited by Saurondil; 03-11-2013 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:08 PM   #12
Aiwendil
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Originally Posted by Saurondil
## If there is a more elegant way of referring to (what are called) charm, colour, & quarks, so much the better Is there an Old English term for "baryonic matter" ? Maybe a kenning would work.... "Atom" should be easy to Old Anglicise - but what of "physics" ? Honourable mention of Democritus, Epicurus & Lucretius would seem to be called for...
Okay, some samples from my glossary:

particle: grot
atom: mot (etymologically, this is just the modern English word 'mote')
quark: cwarc ('quark' is ultimately just a nonsense word made up by James Joyce, so I simply spelled it as the Anglo-Saxons would have)
physics: andweorc-cunnung (literally 'substance-science')
physicist: andweorc-wita (literally 'substance-scholar')
matter: andweorc
energy: weorc
charmed quark: galdorcwarc (literally 'sorcery-quark')
proton: formagrot ('first-particle', following the etymology of 'proton' in Greek)
neutron: unbehlstgrot ('uncharged-particle')
electron: spearcagrot ('spark-particle')
baryon: ricwarc ('three-quark', as a baryon is composed of three quarks)

'Baryonic matter' would then be 'ricwarclic andweorc'.
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