I'm listening to Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" because I've not yet found a good way to commit myself to reading the somewhat vintage copy that I own.
[Its actually a rather nice copy from the early 1900's that I bought in a used bookstore in England a number of years ago. And I don't have qualms about using the book... its just that I haven't worked up the motivation as of yet.]
My thinking is that I'll either be able to 'read' in little snippets on my commute, or - perhaps more likely - inspire the actual picking up of the edition for a more traditional consumption of the printed work as Chaucer might have expected.
What intrigued me about this audio copy was that their intent is to read the original Middle-English, but utilize as modern a pronunciation as seems reasonable. This, in order to make it more than an indistinguishable babble of poetry for people who (go figure) are not accustomed to the Middle-English tongue.
[Please note that there is a distinct and somewhat offensive difference between 'Middle-English language' and the 'Language of Middle-Earth'. I'm not an expert in either, but I'm certain that both Chaucer and Tolkien would want you to be sure of the difference: One is historically real and the other is 'real'-ly only studied and used by people with a LOT of extra time on their hands. (Not to belittle Tolkien, or the fact that he did create a number of actual languages... but it really says a lot about someone if they can tell the difference between Elfen dialects.) Of course, I'm sure I'll end up standing somewhat corrected on these points, but it doesn't matter in the end.]
Anyhow, what I really wanted to get to was my word of the day from Chaucer:
I've already found a little discrepancy, because Merriam-Webster defines it as an archaic form of 'formerly'... Wikipedia doesn't have an entry at all... and the guy on the 'tape' says that it means;
"Once upon a time..."
Personally, I like the 'once upon a time' idea.
Anytime we can start something like that, its good with me!