Weekly Writing Progress (Dec 13 – 19)

Humblebee: 32,599
Weekly Total (Dec 6 – 12): 9,717
December Monthly Total: 25,742
Grand Total: 111,053 (74.0% of 150,000)

This week, I've averaged 1,619.5 words per day. These were my daily totals:

Sunnandæg - day off
Mónandæg - 1,725
Tiwesdæg - 1,650
Wódnesdæg - 1,648
Þunresdæg - 1,270
Frígadæg - 1,713
Sæternesdæg - 1,711

I had a few days this week where my writing took more than my usual hour-and-a-half to two hours, but that was because of some research I did while writing. All I'll say on that account is that it has involved learning a little Anglo-Saxon (a.k.a. Old English). Had it not been for that, my sessions would not've taken any longer than usual, I'm sure.

I learned the most simple thing in Anglo-Saxon. The conjugation of "to be," for example:

Present & Preterite Indicative
• Ic béo (I am) — Ic wæs (I was)
• þu bist (you are) — þu wære (you were)
• he/hit/heo biþ (he/it/she is) — he/hit/heo wæs (he/it/she was)
• we/ge/hie béoþ (we/ye/they are) — we/ge/hie wæron (we/ye/they were)

Present & Preterite Subjunctive
• singular: béowære (ex. if this be treasonif I were to shoot you)
• plural: béonwæren (ex. if these be beesif these were bees)

Present Participle (...ing) & Past Participle (...ed)
béonde — [n/a] (ex. I am being — I have been)

Imperative (direct command)
• singular: béo (ex. Be a man!)
• plural: béoþ (ex. Be men!)

Inflected Infinitive
• to béonne (ex. To be or not to be)

Anglo-Saxon shows forth marvelously why English is a Germanic language:
• Anglo-Saxon: Ic béo (I am)
Modern German: Ich bin
• Anglo-Saxon: þu bist (you are; this can also be written ðu bist)
Modern German: du bist

Probably the most fascinating tidbit, however, was learning that the First Person Singular, Present Tense, for "to be" in Anglo-Saxon, béo, is the same word for bee, and the Anglo-Saxon Inifinitive for "to be," béon, is the same word for bees. Added to this, for me, is the fascinating fact that the Modern English "be," as in "to be," and "bee" do, indeed, share the same root. Plus, the only way in which we make the distinction between them in Modern English is to add a final E to the word designating the insect. For whatever reason, the Anglo-Saxon made some sort of connection between life and existence and bees. There is also the unintended but fabulously fortuitous and serendipitous fact that the "humblebee" of my story's title has come to share that same connection, even before I happened upon the Anglo-Saxon connection.

2 comment(s):

gypsyharper said...
December 23, 2009 3:31 PM

Way cool! Languages are so much fun! :)

g d townshende said...
December 24, 2009 3:22 AM

Yes, they are, Leslie. :D I find them endlessly fascinating, especially when you dig into etymologies, such as the mythological etymologies of all the days of the week and the months of the year. Fascinating stuff, I think. :D

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