Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Curse of the Baskervilles, language edition.

Even just the thought of reading The Hound of the Baskervilles seems to be starting to affect me. Normal text messages and small bits of conversation are lapsing into Elizabethan English (or at least the dinner theater version). I mean, "prithee" . . . who says "prithee"? And the "doths" are slipping in. Doth thou gettest what I mean, good reader?

At some point, I started wondering just how bad my Ye Olde Englishe was, and I quickly found this how-to guide put out by the Guild of St. Helenas, a California ren-fair type troupe.

By Watson's stout moustache, mine tongues didst then become encased in a veritable tantalus of a box, only to spew forth in the occasional gasogene's spritz of sputter!

See? I don't even know what that was!

And technically, Hugo Baskerville was post-Elizabethan by a smidge, so it gets worse. (Anybody out there written a Hugo Baskerville/Sir Ralph Musgrave team-up story yet? Hmm.)

I'm considering celebrating The Hound later this month with a little cosplay of old Hugo, but I fear he's going to come out like the Dick Van Dyke version of the character. (Van Dyke, for all you non-Mary Poppins fans out there, was a comic actor known for not doing a good British accent. Not Kevin Costner Robin Hood bad, mind you, but definitely not spot on.)

What if Shakespeare had written a play version of The Hound of the Baskervilles? True, he'd have been years ahead of the date of the actual Baskerville grandpa who did set the story of the curse to paper, but the language would probably be right and I'd go see it. (Especially if Joss Whedon directed a modern version at his house, and if thou knowest of which I speak, thou art a noble and virtuous sort, I vouchsafe!)

And with that sharp turn in topic, I think I will end this Sherlockian blog version of speaking in tongues before anything of actual substance comes out.

Curse you, Baskervilles curse and all your side-curse curses!

1 comment:

  1. Pritheee, kind sir, hold back not thy thoughts, lest we fail this very day to reap the chortles due us.