John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Happy Birthday, frostdemn!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

The sourenesse of the countenance.
--Henry Cockeram's Interpreter of Hard English Words, 1623

On this date in 1841,
the Anti-Teetotaler Society launched its newsletter, the Anti-Teetotaler, as part of a campaign to counter arguments against drinking made by the temperance movement. Two centuries earlier, physician Tobias Venner's Via Recta: The Right Way of Living (1650) offered this extensive list of wine's salubrious qualities: "Many and singular are the commodities of wine, for it is of itselfe the most pleasant liquor of all other, and was made from the beginning to exhilerate the heart of man. It is a great increaser of the vitall spirits and a wonderfull restorer of all powers and actions of the body. It very greatly comforteth a weak stomack, helpeth concoction, distribution, and nutrition, mightily strengtheneth the naturall heat, openeth obstructions, discusseth [dispels] windiness, taketh away sadnesse and other hurts of melancholy, induceth boldnesse and pleasant behavior, sharpeneth the wit, abundantly reviveth feeble spirits, excellently amendeth the coldnesse of old age, and correcteth the tetrick [see above] qualities which that age is subject unto. And to speake all in a word, it maketh a man more courageous and lively both in mind and body."

Of course, the problem with 1650's medicine is that, like 1650's spelling and grammar, they made it all up as they went along.

Do you suppose "Hard English" is the sort practised by Lynne Truss and Karen Elizabeth Gordon?

-The Gneeche
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