Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sledging: bad. Carpet beating: bad

According to an article on the BBC website, many old laws still exist in the statute books, including the following gems: You must not wear armour to Parliament (Royal Prerogative 1279); fire a cannon close to a dwelling house (Met Police Act 1839); use any slide upon ice or snow (Town Police Clauses Act 1847). That's my weekend ruined then...

But what's this got to do with language? Well, many of these old laws are being displayed by the Law Society and the wording of them is something to behold. Perhaps an investigation into legal language would be an idea for coursework in A2? Maybe looking at changes (or perhaps a lack of any change) in the language of law would be an interesting focus.

On another level though, the laws of the time are a bit like the language: they reflect a society's concerns and preoccupations at a given time and are interesting to look at as a result.

Useful for:
EA4C - Language Investigation
ENA5 - Language Change