Dreaming in Old Norse

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written i...

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written in alliterative verse and paragraphs, not in lines or stanzas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not of Viking heritage, as far as I know.  I once rooted for the Minnesota Vikings back when their defense was known as the “Purple People Eaters”.  I remember the likes of Fran Tarkenton and Alan Page, but I’m no Viking – truth be known, I’m a Patriot, but this post is not about football, but rather language.

Did you know that English may not be of Anglo Saxon origin at all and may be a direct descendent of Old Norse, the language of the Vikings?  According to two professors, one from the Czech Republic, the other from Norway, English is of Northern Germanic origin from which Norwegian developed and is not a Western Germanic Language from Anglo Saxon also known as Old English.  This makes sense because I had a really hard time understanding Beowulf in high school.

The professor from Norway may be a little biased, but he may speak the truth.  They do point out that Scandinavians have no trouble learning English.  Sadly, the same cannot be said of English speakers, particularly those from the U.S. who don’t routinely master Norwegian, Finnish or any second language for that matter.

I may be an exception.  I do dream in a foreign language, and not Spanish, the only one I know.  It has always been a mystery to me as to the language, as if I were speaking in tongues, but now I know that this strangely familiar language  must be Old Norse.   This also explains why I was a Minnesota Viking fan as a kid and why I had this odd fascination with the state; some sort of atavistic pull related to the history of English.

Franken Waits To Be Seated As Coleman Lawsuit Begins


Will Minnesota have representation in the U.S. Senate in  2009?  Not if candidate Norm Coleman has his way.  A required recount of votes confirmed Al Franken won the November 4 Senate election by 225 votes.  Refusing to accept defeat, Republican incumbent Coleman challenged the recount results claiming that thousands of rejected ballets should be reexamined.  A three judge panel appointed Justice Pageby Alan Page, State Supreme Court Justice and Minnesota Viking Hall of Famer, disagreed, but will allow a lawsuit Coleman filed arguing the recount process was flawed, rejecting Franken’s bid to block it.

recount1When will it end? It should have already, but with this latest lawsuit set to begin on Monday, it may be months until the business is settled.  When asked how long the battle will continue, Coleman is reported to have said “we’ll see how it plays out” suggesting that if it does not play out in his favor, he’ll fight on.  In fact, the loser can appeal the panel’s ruling, and likely will.  Meanwhile, Minnesota will continue to be underrepresented in the U.S. Senate during this critical time of economic and foreign policy challenges.   Whatever happened to that Republican slogan, Country First?  I guess Norm thought the chant was Coleman First.