October 20, 2015

Chaucer & Social Media

With tangible relief, I've admitted to being a Social Media Failure. By which, I truly mean that every time I read one of those "How to Succeed Using Fill-in-the-Slank Social Media," I realize I do everything the opposite. Or not at all. Or backwards.

But last night, while I was not sleeping, I started to wonder how our major classic writers might have looked on Social Media. Fitzgerald on Facebook. Thompson on Tumblr. Twain on Twitter. Plato on Pinterest. Ibsen on Instagram.

One thing for sure, Chaucer was not one to embrace brevity. So 140 characters might have been a challenge. But I have found a few snippets I thought would work:

In love and power, as wise men declare,
Friendship can never be allowed a share.
—from The Knight's Tale

What destiny ordains, each must fulfill.
So, if it pleases you, this is my will.
Go where you like, for each of you is free...
—from The Knight's Tale

...there slips 
Many a flatterer with deceiving lips
Who can please you more abundantly, I fear,
Than he who speaks the plain truth in your ear.
—from The Nun's Priest's Tale

And so my bidding is, cherish your wife
If ever you hope to prosper in this life.
—from The Merchant's Tale

I'm sure there are many more. I was simply trying to find short excerpts that would slide into the parameters of a Tweet. (And yes, these are all plucked out of context from the translation that I'm using.)

Please share your experiences with Chaucer if you'd like, and visit the previous posts for this Bawdy Book Club here:

And yes, I have not forgotten about my guide. I'm still working on it sporadically. If I can help other people who feel from time to time as if they are flailing or free-falling, I will be pleased.



Jim Scovill said...

Some bits of middle English slang to add to your list:
VENUS PAIEMENTZ : the wages of Venus
TREDING : mounting
which leads to
TREDEFOUL : hen-shagger, stud

Jim Scovill said...

Some other interesting words
KNIT IN-FEERE : joined together
PRIVETEE : private parts
AUCTOR : writers

Jim Scovill said...

RIDE still carries the same sexual connotation today as it did 600 years ago.

Alison Tyler said...

I love all of this information. Thank you! I'm about to steal from you regarding "ride"!

:) AT

Jim Scovill said...

it is my pleasure to contribute. I liked what you did with it.