Hwæt the…? Newspaper coverage for Walkden

Posted on November 5, 2013 by

George Walkden’s article on Old English hwæt, which recently appeared in English Language & Linguistics, has received coverage in the UK broadsheets!

The research – which argues that hwæt is not an interjection as classically assumed – won ISLE’s Richard Hogg Prize a couple of years ago, and seems to have captured the press’s interest because of its implications for the meaning of the very first line of the epic poem Beowulf. So far, there’s been a full page article in the Independent (p3 of the print version) and a shorter column in the Times (p5).

Reactions from Twitter include “Who cares?” and the suggestion that Walkden “needs to get out more”, but also “this is massive”.

Featured image: first page of the Beowulf manuscript.