• Entertainment

    50 Shades of Gray: Review by an English Major

    After a lot of poking and prodding by a friend of mine, I was convinced to join the multitude and read 50 Shades of Grey. I agreed on the condition that I would read it from the perspective of a writer with a Bachelor’s Degree in English; this was not to be a pleasure-read. I promised to post my observations here once I was finished. The first thing I noticed about 50 Shades of Grey is that E. L. James took a risky and unusual approach by writing in first person present tense. Few novels accomplish this and reach success. Present tense writing is difficult to sustain for any length of time,…

  • Entertainment

    Old English, Middle English, and Modern English

    “I can’t read Shakespeare. Old English is too confusing.” That’s a sentence I’ve heard more than once from both students and casual readers, but it is inaccurate. Shakespeare actually wrote in Modern English, the language in which I am currently writing and the one you are familiar with. The truth is that Old English-the language of Beowulf and Caedmon’s Hymn-cannot be deciphered at all by the average reader because it is written with letters that no longer reside in the English alphabet and with a grammar, spelling, and syntax that is not familiar to us. Old English, also known as Anglo-Saxon, is a Germanic language that can only be read by…