The Ormulum is a 12th-century work of biblical exegesis, written in
early Middle English verse by a monk named Orm (or Ormin). Because of
the unique phonetic orthography adopted by the author, it preserves
many details of English pronunciation at a time when the language was
in flux after the Norman Conquest. Consequently, and in spite its lack
of literary merit, it is invaluable to philologists in tracing the
development of the language. Orm was concerned with priests' ability to
speak the vernacular, and developed an idiosyncratic spelling system to
guide his readers to pronounce each vowel. He composed using a strict
poetic meter which ensured that readers would know which syllables were
stressed. Modern scholars use these two features to reconstruct Middle
English as Orm spoke it.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Byzantine–Seljuk wars: The Seljuk Turks prevented the Byzantines from
taking the interior of Anatolia at the Battle of Myriokephalon in
The text of the United States Constitution was finalized at the
Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
The Imperial Japanese Navy defeated the Beiyang Fleet of Qing China in
the Battle of the Yalu River at the mouth of the Yalu River in Korea
Bay, the largest naval engagement of the First Sino-Japanese War.
World War I: Manfred von Richthofen ("The Red Baron"), a flying ace of
the German Luftstreitkräfte, wins his first aerial combat near Cambrai,
World War II: The Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east, sixteen
days after Nazi Germany's attack on that country from the west.
President Anwar Al Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of
Israel (pictured with U.S. President Jimmy Carter) signed the Camp
David Accords after twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
long in the tooth (adj):
(idiomatic) Old, aged
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Many questions haven't been answered as yet. Our poets may be wrong;
but what can any of us do with his talent but try to develop his
vision, so that through frequent failures we may learn better what we
have missed in the past.
--William Carlos Williams
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