Friday, January 16, 2009

A New Feature

I am testing out an add-on that I just installed called ScribeFire. It will supposedly make blogging easier (as though it was difficult before or something). Maybe I'll spice this up by quoting a line from Beowulf (which I am currently reading) and sharing something I found cute. Yeah, that sounds nice.

"In the end each clan on the outlying coasts
beyond the whale-road had to yield to him
and begin to pay tribute" (lines 9-11, emphasis added).

That little word there--"whale-road"--refers to the sea/ocean. But how much less interesting would it have been to say, "beyond the ocean"? I'll answer for you: much less interesting. The author of Beowulf chose instead to describe the sea as the "whale-road" which is not only more vivid; frankly, it is more fun to read. This literary device is known as a kenning. I know not where that name comes from, but I think it is cute that there is a name given to it.

English Major-types get bored easy, methinks.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

That makes perfect sense. It is where the whales drive their cars after all.