Earlier this week, The Independent reported that the first line of Beowulf has been incorrectly translated for hundreds of years. According to research by Dr. George Walkden, a University of Manchester lecturer, Â the Old English word hwÃ¦t, which begins the English languageâ€™s oldest epic poem (â€œHwÃ¦t! We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum, Ã¾eod-cyninga,Â Ã¾rym gefrunon, hu Ã°a Ã¦Ã¾elingasÂ ellen fremedon!â€),Â should not be read as an interjection separate from the rest of the first line Â (â€œListen! we have heard of the might of the kingsâ€), Â but rather as part of a complete exclamatory sentenceâ€”something like â€œHow we have heard of the might of the kings.â€
Citing research that â€œthereâ€™s no record of the Anglo-Saxons using exclamation marks, or any other form of punctuation, besides the full stop (or â€˜pointâ€™) and the occasional semicolonâ€ Walkden declares all previous interpretationsâ€”â€â€˜What ho!â€™ (Earle 1892), â€˜Hear me!â€™ (Raffel 1963), â€˜Attend!â€™ (Alexander 1973), â€˜Indeed!â€™ (Jack 1994), and â€˜So!â€™ (Heaney 2000)â€â€”to be wrong.
Since WCC has received the “Military Friendly School” award and November 11th is Veteran’s Day, Todd Library is also honoring our Veterans with a Display concerning returning Vets and what all they may encounter. Whether they be from WWII, Korean, Viet Nam to present day, come check out our collection devoted to them, and “Thank a Vet.”