Annotations and comments

Martin has posted 20 annotations/comments since 15 February 2014.

The most recent first…


Second Reading

About Friday 6 March 1667/68

Martin  •  Link

@San Diego Sarah -- there is no 'English parliament'. There is a UK parliament that sites in Westminster. Unlike the other nations of the union, England does not have a devolved assembly. You could argue that that's unfair, but it's a slightly different issue to the one you raise.

About Saturday 4 May 1667

Martin  •  Link

Sure, but phonetic spelling doesn't explain the situation here. 'undecent' and 'indecent' are pronounced differently, and would have been in the 17th century too.

OED says: undecent, adj. a. Unfitting, unbecoming, improper; = indecent adj. 1. Now archaic. and gives quotations from the 16th to the 19th century, the first being earlier than their first for 'indecent'.

About Friday 16 March 1665/66

Martin  •  Link

Erasures: a bit late to come in to the discussion from 10 years ago, but the original and literal meaning of 'erase' is to scratch or scrape out. It doesn't have to imply complete removal.

About Friday 7 July 1665

Martin  •  Link

'friends of my name' must be 'friend' in OED sense 3, "close relation, a kinsman or kinswoman. In later use regional". Didn't realise this still was alive and well in southern English in Pepys's time.

About Friday 23 December 1664

Martin  •  Link

Comet: pace Andy, it's not in fact particularly difficult to predict the maximum elevation of a celestial object whose declination (elevation with respect to the celestial equator) is known. Just depends on latitude, as any navigator would have been able to tell Sam. Presumably the astronomers of the day knew the celestial co-ordinates of the comet, which would change, of course, but not so much from day to day as to make them useless. Or, of course, someone might just have measured the elevation recently and told Sam. Sandwich was making observations among others. The orbits of comets would not be solved for another generation or so.

About Saturday 4 June 1664

Martin  •  Link

Bill, the circumflex on the a indicates the suppression of an s with which the word would earlier have been spelt. The systematic use of the circumflex dates, according to French wikipedia, from 1740. So Pepys has it right, for his time.

About Tuesday 24 May 1664

Martin  •  Link

Interesting to see 'friend' for 'relative' here. From the OED, it looks as though this would be gone from southern English not long after Pepys's time.

About Monday 27 July 1663

Martin  •  Link

Yes, I was surprised that no-one pointed out last time that the Royal Assent continues to be in Norman-French to this day. (The statement that Sam lived in the last days of Law French is true but irrelevant; by then it was only used in court reports not as a spoken language, in any case.)

About Monday 11 May 1663

Martin  •  Link

I don't see that 'I might have been worried' can be read as anything other than your second meaning, even if the first had been current English in Pepys's time, which, from your quotation, it wasn't.

About Tuesday 21 October 1662

Martin  •  Link

Irrespective of the encoding problems, the Greek here is messed up. Should be τὰ ἐφ ἡμῖν καί τὰ οὐχ ἐφ ἡμῖν, as it (almost) was the previous time that it's used in this version of the diary.

About Friday 10 October 1662

Martin  •  Link

Terry's wikipedia quote is a bit anachronistic for the 17th century. In Pepys's time there would have been Regent and non-Regent houses consisting of the resident and non-resident MAs respectively. Collectively these were the governing body; the non-resident MAs had a great deal of power, in principle, and that remained the situation until the early 20th century. So when Sam talks about being carried into the Regent House I take it to mean the place where the Regents were meeting for the election; he would have been aware that he was part of the governing body of the University.

About Sunday 25 August 1661

Martin  •  Link

Demean herself: Bill has it right. The French 'se demener' would now be translated as 'behave oneself' but it looks as though a more etymologically direct option was available in the 17th century.

About Tuesday 6 August 1661

Martin  •  Link

The current church was built by the Hospitallers after the Templars were suppressed. It is still 'very handsome'. (I live about two minutes' walk from it.)

About Saturday 20 April 1661

Martin  •  Link

Surprising amount of confusion about lords and lordships 10 years ago. It's quite easy really.

When you are talking *about* a lord or lady (baron through marquess, wives of knights, certain judges, certain children of peers, etc) you now just use the title, Lord X or Lady Y. (However, in Pepys' time it was perfectly normal, and not wrong as suggested above, to call them My Lord X and My Lady Y -- parallel with French Monsieur, Madame, Monseigneur, Dutch Mynheer, etc.)

When you are talking *to* a lord or lady you use 'my lord' or 'my lady' in the places where you would use 'sir' or 'madam'. You use 'your lordship' in the places where you would use the pronoun 'you'. 'Good morning, my lord. Would your lordship like some breakfast?' (Obviously this is the deferential or very polite form, as is 'his/her lordship' in the third person, but you can still encounter it in some places, e.g. the House of Lords, where you will also meet the plural forms 'my lords' and 'your lordships'.)

For anyone with an honorific of the form His/Her X, e.g. His Excellency, His Grace, Her Majesty, you use that, in second-person form, *both* as a form of address and to replace 'you': 'Good morning, your Grace. Would your Grace care for some coffee?'

About Thursday 14 February 1660/61

Martin  •  Link

A bit late to post a correction to Grahamt's comment of ten years ago, but John Julius Norwich is so called because he's the second Viscount Norwich; his real surname is Cooper.