Jane Austen teaches me pure English with propriety!
so the books I ordered some days ago at amazon arrived within 2 days -
- the 'Jane Austen' collected works book got more than 1000 pages, but me as treasure seeker likes to have such a volume at my hands (My grandpa, who died when I was still a child, had a personal library of about 2000 books - he's been reading & searching for rare books for all of his life & amazon wasn't even invented by then)
I started reading 'Jane Austen' without even knowing what she was writing about, because I just was curious what she was writing about -
I only had read a short report about her 'Pride and Prejudice" in the internet - & knew she was an english novel writer of the 18th century & now know that she died at the age of 41.
I started "Sense and Sensibility" the same evening -
I have read english books occasionally since I've been in Massachusetts, so about 20 years ago - most english books are easy to read - Usually I read them without using a dictionary - of course sometimes there are words I still don't know, but if I understand the sense & get the general meaning I don't care for every little adverb or adjective. A lot of English words I learnt just by reading them in an similar context & so found out what they meant - that's the way, we as little children learnt our mother tongue - one of the real wonders of the world - how could we get the meaning of all those difficult word constructions, words that describe spiritual things, not only things & what we do with things.. - I must have been a Genius in my early childhood, like all those other geniuses who learnt to talk & understand words & sentences..
I've read all those C.S. Lewis Narnia books in english - & also a lot of 'Elisabeth Goudge' (I found her just by chance in the library) - I can't quite remember about all the books I've read in English, but there was Lewis Carrolls wonderful 'Alice in Wonderland' (I have his complete works), Piers Anthony books, Tanith Lee, J.R. Tolkien's 'Hobbit' & 'Lord of the Rings', all the 'Harry Potter books', some Oscar Wilde stuff (which of course I had read already a long time ago in the German translation), a lot of Ursula K. LeGuinn (yes that's also fantasy fiction), T.H. White - 'The once and future king' etc., & a whole bunch of other books I can't quite remember anymore.
But when I once brought with me the collected works of E.A. Poe from the USA & started to read them, I quickly stopped reading them within the first pages, because in that time it was a bit much too difficult to read for me - anyway I had all his stories & poetry already read before in the German translation.
But back to Jane Austen: Even in the first pages there were some words I didn't understand, much more, than I'was used to - some sentences seemed totally incomprehensible - so from the first view pages on I had to use my dictionary - there were a lot of words which nowadays are probably rarely or not used anymore, but to a lot of this old words I really regret, that they are dying out - that's the same in German language - a lot of words are dying out, because no-one uses them anymore, a lot of lyrical, sublime & subtle words descripting like fine chisels more in detail are substituted by strong hammer like word constructions, which represent the main stream & are primitive enough to be understood & used by everyone, but just leave the want of expression of those who think more subtle - our languages get poorer, simpler & more primitive just for easy use, like all the main stream commercial selling strategies, which take over monopoling our modern world..
So - well - I found a lot of new 'old' english words & so had the idea to write every word I didn't know yet down on some sheets - like a gold digger I was looking for new 'unknown' words & even researched words, of which I was not quite sure - there shouldn't be any secrets in English language to me anymore - I want to know it all! -
Of course I got a bit frustrated, while I watched my word list of English-German growing longer & longer - will that continue through all the book? -
I'm now at page 47 & have a list of about 100 words already - well about 20 percent I knew already halfway & but still 80 words, that's about 2 words per page & reading a book while you have to search per page 2 words in your dictionary can get tedious.
But the good news is, that I noticed, that my understanding of her sentences improves much from page to page - in the first few pages I had to research about 10 or more unknown words - but soon I discovered, that these new words are repeated & repeated over & over again.
Every author has a certain amount (more or less) of words & phrases & expression he likes to use & sooner or later you notice him to repeat them over again. - Soon I'll know all her old English word repertoire & then it will probably be very seldom that I have to use my dictionary.
Some of these new words are hard to learn for me, they just don't stick to my memory, especially those latin words with all these prepositions like 'pre', 'pro', 'in', 'dis', 'per', 'con', 'de', 'e(x)' etc. -
Yesterday I wrote all these new scribbled down verbs & nouns to database 'Access' & printed it out, for learning them.
Half of the words of this list I have learnt already, but see here some exerpts of 'these' words:
propriety (of course first of all - a very important word in that time apparently) - conjecture, inquietude, disapprobation, demesne, perseverance, inadvertence, expidient, exertion, ineligible, entreaty, insipidity, inaccountable, acquiesce, expidient, complexion, raillery, insinuation, unobtrusive, undiscerned, illaudable, bestow, propensity, prescience etc.
I think I should use these words in future in my diary to enrichen my poor English.
Will I ever find opportunity to use the word propriety?
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