texts through ages – 2006

1500s – To make Pancakes
Take new thicke Creame a pine, foure or five yolks of egs, a good handful of flower and two or three spoonefuls of ale, strain them together into a faire platter, and season it with a good handfull of sugar, a spooneful of synamon, and a little Ginger: then take a friing pan, and put in a litle peece of Butter, as big as your thumbe, and when it is molten brown, cast it out of your pan, and with a ladle put to the further side of your pan some of your stuffe, and hold your pan …, so that your stuffe may run abroad over all the pan as thin as may be: then set it to the fire, and let the fyre be verie soft, and when the one side is baked, then turn the other, and bake them as dry as ye can without burning.
§ The whole text is one, long compound sentence joined together with many co-ordinating conjunctions such as ‘and’ and commas. This is a typical feature of archaic texts. Today we would split the passage into simpler and shorter sentences, for an easier and more understandable read.
§ Subject specialist terms such as ‘fair platter’ are used because this text is aimed at housewives who would have a wide knowledge in this area. It makes the text only accessible to those who know about cookery.
§ Personal pronouns such as, ‘your’ are used to speak directly to the reader and involve the reader in taking part in the activity.
§ Imperatives like ‘take’ and ‘put’ are used in order to remove ambiguity about the task ahead.
§ The subordinator ‘when’ has been used as a measure of time, so as to clarify the time that the pancake should be tossed.
§ The indefinite article ‘a’ is used frequently which although could suggest ambiguity, here shows the reader that they don’t have to use any particular type of the ingredients listed.
§ The use of an anaphoric reference ‘they’ is used to express something previously said without fully repeating it. It shows how reading one line of the text would make no sense unless the whole text is read.
§ Orthographically, the word ‘synamon’ is different to that of today’s spelling, cinnamon, showing that this is an archaic text. This was written before the standardisation of the English language.
§ ‘As may be’ is used instead of the more grammatically correct ‘as it can’, this is an archaic form of syntax which since the standardisation of English through Johnson’s dictionary, is no longer recognised as a grammatically correct form of writing.

Medieval Cooking – The Forme of Cury – Coffins and Chastletes
Take Capouns and seeþ hem, þenne take hem up. take Almandes blaunched. grynd hem and alay hem up with the same broth. cast the mylk in a pot. waisshe rys and do þerto and lat it seeþ. þanne take brawn of Capouns teere it small and do þerto. take white grece sugur and salt and cast þerinne. lat it seeþ. þenne messe it forth and florissh it with aneys in confyt rede oþer whyt. and with Almaundes fryed in oyle. and serue it forth.
Take capons and seethe (boil) them, then take them up. Take blanched almonds. Grind them and chop them up with the same broth. Put milk in a pot. Wash rice and add thereto and let it seethe (boil). Then take the flesh of the capon, chop it small and add thereto. Take white grease (lard), sugar and salt and put them in. Let it seethe. Then mix it up and garnish it with any sweetmeat red or white, and with almonds fried in oil. And serve it forth.
§ Imperatives are used such as ‘take’ and ‘put’. These are key features of cookery books because they are directly telling the person what to do and remove any elements of ambiguity.
§ Short, simple sentences are used, each one with a different command. These are used to make the text easier to understand and to remove any possibly ambiguity.
§ Words such as ‘seethe’ are used, which are subject specialist terms because they appear in texts, which have been written for people who have good knowledge in the subject.
§ The present tense is used in words such as ‘take’ and ‘mix’ because you’re doing as it tells you as you’re reading the commands.
§ Anaphoric references are being used such as ‘they’ – this is where the text refers to something previously mentioned in the text, in order not to have to repeat what has previously been written. It simply makes the text flow more easily.
§ ‘Add thereto’ is used rather than the more modern ‘add to it’ which makes the text archaic.
§ Archaic verbs such as ‘alay hem up’ (meaning chop them up) are no longer used in modern society, which means that the average modern cook would not understand this text.
§ Prepositions such as ‘forth’ are archaic and no longer used in modern texts.

1720: Treating the goutwhich has lain by me these Seven
Years; which, yet, I have not
had Leisure or Humour to finish.
Several Copies of this having got
Abroad, and the pitiful
Condescendence of Pyrating Booksellers,
even to such Trifles as these,
have constraine’d me to let it come
out in Print, as it is, to pre-
vent its coming out from them.
The Gentlemen of the Profession
may easily percieve, by the Grossness
of the Philosophy, and the
low Detail of the Pharmacy, it
was not design’d for them. If any shall
think fit to dispute or
criticise on the Doctrine here laid down,
they may may do it securely, as if the Author
were as much dead, as these his Labours will
shortly be: I hope i know the Value.Analysis:

  • The use of the phrase, ‘ I hope i know’ and ‘i have not had’ is a grammatical word order which had been newly introduced in the 1700’s.
  • The use of borrowed words from the French like ‘Doctrine’ was a feature of 1700’s texts which shows this extract to be from around this time.
  • The random capitalisation are used for words which don’t require them, like ‘Detail of the Pharmacy’; this is to emphathise the words that relate to its purpose of ‘treating the gout’.
  • The complex sentences shows the move towards more modern writing and standardisation of sentences.
  • There is a consistent use of correct punctuation which shows standardisation of punctuation which was a feature of 18th century extracts.
  • There is use of archaic syntax ‘which has lain by these seven years’; this would be structured in a different way nowadays.

The word ‘Trifles’ has endured a semantic shift as it used to mean ‘deception’ with negative connotations, now it is commonly known as a desert. This demonstrates when the text is written.

1843: Five minutes’ Advice – Ladies in Heated Rooms
These Pills have been in general use for a great number of years,
and their good effects so fully establisherd, as to require no comment.
They do not contain either an antimonial or mercurial preparation;
consequently, there is no necessity for change of diet or continement –
moderate exercise greatly promoting their good effects. They freely
and easily evacuate the Bowels, and remove Biliary Obstructions,
which are frequently the cause of severe Headaches; and to persons
of a Costive habit they are invaluable. Invalids of the most delicate
habit may take them with the greatest safety. Two or three doses of
them should be taken by every person before commencing a course of
the Bath Waters; and they should be immediately resorted to during
the use of the Waters, and in the event of the Bowels being in a confined

This preparation, which combines the valuable properties of Camphor
and Ammonia, will be found very efficacious in Depression of
Spirits, Spasms, and Nervous Affections; and particularly as a means
of affording immediate relief to Ladies in heated rooms or crowded


  • The use of long, complex sentences is a grammatical feature of texts from the 1800’s which shows the era of this passage.
  • It uses the subordinating conjunction ‘and’ to connect the main clause ‘these Pills have been in general use for a great number of years’ with the subordinate clause ‘their good effects so fully established’. This gives the reader more information about how effective the pills are, which is a good way of aiming to sell the product.
  • The text uses the adverbs ‘freely’ and ‘easily’; this describes the process and makes the product more appealing to the audience as it empthasises that it is straightforward to use.
  • It uses imperative sentences with the use of the modal verb ‘should’, which informs the reader while instructing them about how to take the product.
  • The preposition phrase ‘before commencing a course of the Bath Waters’, helps to give the audience clear instructions about when to carry out each aspect of the process.
  • The use of an anaphoric reference ‘this’ is used to express ‘Camphorated Sal Volatile’ previously said without repeating it. It shows how reading one line of the text would make no sense unless the whole text is read.
  • It uses the abstract noun ‘preparation’, which doesn’t physically exist but it is refering to the process that is needed to take the product that is being advertised.
  • Subject specialist terms like ‘antimonial’ and ‘mercurial’ are used because it is aimed at readers who already have a wide knowledge of medicinal remedies.

The post modification ‘which combines the valuable properties of Camphor and Ammonia’, gives extra information to the reader to show what the product specifically contains.

1650 – Advertisment for a Quack DoctorWithout offence to the Lawes of God and
Man: onely by Mathematicall Arts and Naturall Sci-
ences: A certaine true and probable Answer may be
given to any lawfull demaund whatsoever, as by the testimoney of the
Learned among all Nations, and in all ages, and innumeralbe Examples
of our owne experience have invincibly confirmed.

3 Of the Complexion of the body: and the Inclination of th eminde.
2 Of Riches, and pverty, how, and when they shall happen.
3 Of Marriage, the number, quality, time and place.
4 Of Children, if few, or many, their sexe and disposition.
5 Of Travailes, the time, the part of the World, and the evenet.
6 Of the Profession, Trade and manner of life.
7 Of Dignity grace, and disgrace, and from whom.
8 Of Friends and Enemies, and th eevent of their love or hatred.
9 Whether any that is Absent be alive? how? and where?
10 Whether any shall have riches, and at what time?
11 Whether a Partner of Factor be just and faithfull?
12 Whether a Man shall marry that Woman he desireth?
13 Whether a Woman be apt to have Children?


  • The use of the preposition ‘of’ at the beginning of each numbered sentence is incorrect use of grammar and proves that the author expects the audience to understand these grammatical ‘rules’ which are now dated.
  • The use of extreme capitalisation, known to be a feature of texts from the 1600’s, ‘Learned among all Nations’ shows that the author wants to emphasise this is a serious document which supports the purpose to inform the reader about ‘the Lawes of God’
  • The context of this piece is about caring for your health which was considered to be a fashionable subject and therefore the use of a more modern approach to written work was incorporated such as the use of relative clauses and non-finite clauses supports the context.
  • The text uses interrogative sentences, ‘whether any shall have riches, at what time?’ this shows how the author is directly addressing the reader which supports its purpose to inform the reader as it is an advert.
  • The archaeic word ‘innumeralbe’ is used, now spelt ‘innumerable’; this is a term denotating ‘countless’ that is rarely used anymore showing the date of the text.
  • The standardisation of written text through punctuation is shown in the considered ‘incorrect’ grammatical use of the colon, ‘Of the complexion of the body: and the Inclination of the eminde’ which supports the context as the text is formal.
  • The general use of modern pronouns ‘he’ in the sentence, ‘Trade he followeth’ is a typical feature of texts from the 1600s instead of archaeic forms, ‘whom’ as the audience began to use more modern forms.
  • The use of archaeic language such as ‘travailes’ shows this is a piece from the 1600’s as the audience are expected to understand these archaeic forms.

The standardisation of grammar, known to be a feature of texts from the 1600’s, is shown through the modern form ‘i have ready’ instead of ‘i ready have’ in more archaeic texts shows the audience are from around this time as they are expected to understand these more modern rules of not splitting infinitives.

tourism texts

1678 – De Mirabilibus Pecci – Being the Wonders of the Peak in Darby-shire – Guide
This poem, entitled ‘De Mirabilibus Pecci’, was written by the Enlightenment philosopher Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes toured the Peak District in 1626, and the poem describes the wonders of his experiences. The poem was first published in 1636. This version includes the original Latin and an English translation by ‘a Person of Quality’. It appeared in 1678. The ‘Wonders’ include Chatsworth House, Peak Cavern (popularly known as the Devil’s Arse), St Anne’s Well, Buxton, Eldon Hole and Tideswell.
‘Pool was a famous thief, and as we’re told
Equal to Cacus, and perchance as old.
Shrowded within his darksome hid retrieve
By spoils of those he robb’d, he us’d to live
And towards his den poor travellers deceive;
But murder he with thefts did introduce
Thus they, and thus the Author lay abstruce.
This to behold a skilful guide we take,
And Captain in our darksome journeys make.
To a green hill on foot then bend our way
From Buxton near a thousand paces lay.
At the bottom of the Hill to the hollow ground
Stooping by a final vent a way is found;
More passable the further in you go.
At length we all with carblike gesture slow,
And light in hand, the passage do get through,
And with it gain an upright posture too
A monstrous, horrid, shapeless den appears


1687 – Being the Wonders of the Peak in Derbyshire The form of the text is a poem, hence the first letter of each line is a capital “Equal” “And” Elision of letters in words, in particular the letter “e” in “robb’d” and “us’d” is either representative of the period, or of trying to cut down syllables to make the poem flow better. Premodification is used to provide extra information about the areas as the propose of the text is to inform eg “hollow ground” “shapeless den” There is a mix of definite and indefinite articles “the Hill” “a green hill” “the passage” which is surprising as you would expect all the places mentioned to be in the definite article. This gives the impression the author is not confident when writing about the area. Both compound sentences and simple sentences are used to convey information which provides variety, making the text flow better and less boring to read. The sentences are declarative as they are providing information, although you may expect some sentences to be imperative “go to the hill” as they author is writing to guide others. This gives the text a softer appeal. The text is written in the past tense as is shown by the finite verbs “bend” “robb’d” and “get”. There are lots of stative verbs “is” “in” “it” as the text is designed to inform. “Author” has been given a capital “A” to demonstrate how he or she is important – it is used for emphasis. There are two predominant semantic fields; thieving and stealing in the first half of the text, and the outside world and nature in the second. The word “thus” is used frequently “and thus the Author…” which is typical of the era in which the poem was written.

1818 – The Scientific Tourist – Caverns and Quarries

The Scientific Tourist, published in 1818, is a guidebook to obscure scientific and historical curiosities in the British Isles. Specialist guidebooks were an increasingly popular genre at this time, catering for the growing number of tourists travelling around the country. The books provided a model for how to be a ‘serious’ tourist, presenting amateur scholars and collectors with a wealth of ‘authoritative’ information. In general, guidebooks focused on all sorts of subjects – sketching, fossils, botany, ancient monuments and picturesque landscapes – and frequently combined, as in this case, several of these in one volume. The author’s encyclopaedic approach was designed to make it easy for the ‘inexperienced’ traveller to find engaging and improving objects of scientific and artistic enquiry.

CHARMINSTER, 2 1/2 m. N.W. by N. from Dorchester.- Near is Wolveton House, the magnificent seat of the Trenchard family, where the ancient carvings and painted glass are objects of great curiosity. B.E.

WEYMOUTH.- A celebrated and fashionable bathing place, containing public rooms, libraries, and theatre; also several small forts; in the Ch. is a fine altar piece. On the high cliff 1m from the town is Sandisfoot Castle erected by Henry VIII. B.E. 4M. N.N.E. at ormington, an equestrian figure of George III, formed in Chalk upon the hills.

ISLE OF PORTLAND.- The Vicars Chapel:- Portland Castle, a modern fortress: ruin of Bow-and-Arrow castle: the Light-house: Cave Hole, a remarkable cavern, near the lighthouse.B.E. And the stone quarries at Kingstone; also those near the Castle, where is a species called Sugar-candy stone: in many of the quarries are found a variety of fossils: upon the Chesil Bank are found pebbles of quartz, jasper, chert, and white calcerous pebbles called Portland pebbles.

ABBOTSBURY, 9m. s.w. from Dorchester.- The ruins of the Abbey (1026): Chapel of St. Catherine: the Decoy and Swannery. The Ch. is worthy of notice; over the western door is a carved represntation of the Trinity. 1 1/2 m. w. is Abbotsbury Castle, an old fortification. On an eminence named Ridgehill, N. of Portisham, is a Cromlech on a tumulus, called Hell Stone; near a small barrow. A little N. of the above is Blackdown Hill, from which is an extensive prospect. At Chilcomb is a large fortification with two or three barrows in the middle.B.E.

WINTERBORNE ABBAS, 4m.w. from Dorchester. A Roman Temple; and near is a small Druidical circle of nine stones: in the vicinity are several erect stones, and many barrows. B.E.
BRIDPORT, was a Priory. _ On Farnham Downs near Bridport are several barrows: and 2 m. S.E. is Shipton Hill, and immense barrow like a ship reversed. M.A.

LYME, 9.M. w. from Bridport has nothing very curious except the Cob, and the ruins of Chidioc, a circular castle, said to be British.M.A.

ASKERWELL, 4m. N.E. from Bridport.- 2m. N. of this village is Eggerdon Camp, a large and strong fortification: ‘

1818 – The Scientific Tourist Analysis
Definite article is used throughout -“a remarkable cavern” “a fine alter” –suggests confidence in what the writer is saying. Initialism -“N.N.E” “B.E”- suggests reader has background knowledge of what author is writing about. Sentences are primarily to inform –punctuated mainly by commas, little sentence structure, and just one long sentence with as much detail as possible. “Near is Wolverton House, the magnificent seat of the Trenchard family, where the ancient carvings…” Places to visit highlighted by being in capitals –“WEYMOUTH” “BRIDPORT” Adjectives used to effectively describe “remarkable” “immense”. Premodification – “remarkable cavern” – to provide extra information (purpose of text is to inform). Form of the text is encyclopaedic to make certain areas of travel easy to find when necessary as it is laid out in a clear order with the place names being titles. E.g. “BRIDPORT, was a priory…” Technical Language used in the semantic field of pebbles and fossils –“jasper, chert, and white calcerous pebbles”. Complex language used (i.e long words) such as “fortification” “tumulus” “equestrian” – suggest a mature and intellectual audience. Stative verbs –“is” “in” –show that the text is designed to inform.

1912 – The Seaport Town of Lyme Regis – Fine views

This guidebook to Lyme Regis was published in 1912, and provides information on the geology and history of the area. According to the preface, the book aimed to appeal to a wide variety of readers – from tired workers taking weekend breaks to serious geologists and archaeologists. The book is also packed with advertisements for a bizarre mixture of goods: flea powder, seasickness draughts, fire insurance, landscape photographs, piano hire. All of these adverts promoted commercial establishments in the town – actually most of them publicise shops belonging to F.Dunster, who is also the publisher of the book.

A few modern villas which have lately been built on the shelving hill-side, and the recently-erected Victoria Hotel strike the eye first. The most ordinary spectator will linger on the platform of the station in admiration of the fine views it affords. Looking Northwards up the valley a charming scene unfolds itself, a vista of wood-capped hills and smooth slopes of rich pasture lands watered by ever-running streams, and moorlands bright with heather and ever-blooming gorse. Rhode Hill, the seat of the Talbot family, can be seen on the left of the valley ensconced amonst the trees, and on the East rises “Timber Hill” 500 feet high, a flat topped, broad eminence, where there is a fine nine-hole golf course, belonging to the Lyme Regis and Charmouth Golf Club. With this preliminary glimpse if the beautiful scenery which awaits him, the stranger may descend towards the town. A stone’s throw from the railway station, Colway Lane, marked in the Ordnance-map as a ROMAN ROAD, crosses the main road east and west. The road from the station to the town is a steep descent seawards, the road gradually narrowing until it becomes silver Street – Sylva more correctly, if it is to be considered a corruption of via silvestris, which means the way of the woods. Roberts, in his “History,” observes that “a great part of the country this side of the Axminster was all wooded till a few centuries.” ’

1912 –The Seaport Town of Lyme Regis –Fine Views – Analysis
Premodification –“Charming scene” “beautiful scenery” –provide as much information as possible in the sentence.
Use of hyphens “silver street –Sylva more correctly…” makes text sound more informal. Colloquial style.
Common phrases – “strike the eye” “a stone’s throw” – make text less formal and more colloquial. Makes text more descriptive and less like just pure information.
Use of capitals for names such as “Charmouth Golf Club” show it is an actual place. Informative by using actual names for places.
Complex language –“ensconced” “eminence” –suggests a mature and intellectual audience.
Use of words that are no longer frequent in today’s language –“linger” “charming” “awaits” –represents period of text.

TIMELINE – features typical of each era
17th Century
Elision of letters
Complex words (clever audience) eg. “shrowded” “perchance” “abstruce”
Simple sentences not that simple – quite long, filled with description
Heavy reliance on readers’ general knowledge

· Jessycer Barlowe and Sowfey Tomlynnesun
· 1600s
· To make Paste of Apricocks.
· Take your Apricocks, and pare them, and stone them, then boil them tender betwixt two dishes on a Chafing-dish of coals; then being cold, lay it forth on a white sheet of paper; then take as much Sugar as it doth weigh, and boil it to a Candy height, with as much Rose-water and fair water as will melt the Sugar; then put the Pulp into the Sugar, and so let it boil till it be as thick as for marmalet, now an then stirring of it; then fashion it upon a pye-plate like to half Apricocks, and the next day close the half Apricocks to the other, and when they are dry, they will be as clear as Amber, and eat much better then Apricocks it self.
The whole passage is one long compound sentence joined with many co-ordinating conjunctions, ‘and’ and commas. It reflects an archaic syntax because of its over-dependence on these linguistic features. Nowadays for ease of reading, we would divide the passage into shorter, simple sentences.
Found in this text are many imperatives such as “ pare them”, and “stone them”. This is a key feature of a cookery book as its purpose is to direct its audience to eradicate ambiguity.
Notably there is seemingly random capitalisation on words such as, ‘Candy’, ‘Amber’, and ‘Apricocks’. This differs to modern usages of capitalisation as nowadays it is only used for proper nouns and at beginning of sentences. Perhaps this reflects the fact that English had not been standardized to the same extent as today.
Archaic verbs such as, ‘doth’ and, ‘fashion’ are less commonly used in modern cookery texts as they have been replaced to avoid ambiguity. However as verbs are less susceptible to language change , we can still understand both, ‘doth’ and, ‘fashion’ in this context but they are less frequently used as they promote old-fashioned connotations.
There is an abundance of archaic (mouldy) prepositions such as, ‘forth’, ‘betwixt’ and ‘upon’. These lexemes are no longer used and so reflect archaic connotations.
Grammatically the syntax reflects an archaic construction for example in the clause, ‘boil them tender’. Nowadays the clause would be expanded with the conjunction ‘until’ for ease of comprehension. However, the archaic text has sandwiched a subordinate clause to another clause (“boil them” and “they are tender”).
Dated nouns for example ‘Chafing-dish’, ‘fair water’ and ‘pye-plate’ have fallen out of usage in modern day English. But why??? This could be due to the invention of new cooking utensils and so these archaic nouns have been replaced and so there is no need to use them. ‘Fair water’ has been pre-modified to specify the exact ingredient.
‘Chafing-dish of coals’ demonstrates an archaic use of a plural. It also acts as an example of when Old English was inflected. ‘Coals’ would nowadays be changed to the plural, ‘coal’ as Modern English is relatively uninflected This irregular rule in the English language could indicate that English wasn’t standardised.
‘It be’ is used in the text instead of the modern more grammatically correct, ‘it is’. In this way it renders the article archaic sounding.
In the phrase, ‘eat much better’, the verb, ‘to eat’ has been used in place of, ‘to taste’. By modern standards, these verbs can be used interchangeably as there denotations are completely different. Therefore by the inclusion of this verb it both shows the text as being archaic but would also confuse a modern reader.
With the abundance of dynamic verbs e.g. “lay” and “take”, it makes it sound as though the process is happening currently. It’s like a running narrative, making the piece flow, make sense and apply to modern day.
Certain verbs, such as, ‘boil’ and ‘stone’ are transitive. They require an object after the verb, this is found in a cookery text because the verbs require a subject and the reader needs to know what is happening to the subject of the verb, i.e. the apricocks.
The subordinator, ‘until’, has been used as a measure of time for the reader, it clarifies the length of time needed for certain cooking instructions.
At the end of the paragraphs is the anaphoric reference, ‘they’ and works as relating backward in the text It is used as a method of binding the text together, forging a link between instructions at the beginning and at the end of the text.
The second person pronoun ‘your’ is used at the beginning of the text this is to directly address the reader and tells them not to use anybody else’s ‘apricocks’. It also involves the audience, individually directing the instructions at them.
1904. In carving a boiled rabbit, let the knife be drawn on each side of the backbone, the whole length of the rabbit, as shown by the dotted line 3 to 4: thus the rabbit will be in three parts. Now let the back be divided into two equal parts in the direction of the line from 1 to 2; then let the leg be taken off, as shown by the line 5 to 6, and the shoulder as shown by the line 7 to 8. This, in our opinion, is the best plan to carve a rabbit, although there are other modes which are preferred by some.
A roast rabbit is rather differently trussed from one that is meant to be boiled; but the carving is nearly similar, as will be seen by the cut. The back should be divided into as many pieces as it will give, and the legs and shoulders can then be disengaged in the same manner as those of the boiled animal.
‘1904’ has been isolated from the rest of the syntax for impact and added effect on reader. This technique is still used effectively by modern standards.
‘As shown by dotted line 3 to 4’ is an example of an exophoric reference as it refers to something outside of the text. As the reader is reading a cookery book, it usefully provides exophoric references to act as informative diagrams etc and so renders the text easier to follow.
The demonstrative pronoun “ this” in “this in our opinion” gives the reader a helping hand whilst following the instructions provided.
‘Thus’ is used as a discourse marker but is archaic as it is not used in Modern English. The sentence retains the same meaning, however, ‘thus’ ages it.
“Now let the back…” is a complex sentence joined with a co-ordinating conjunction to a subordinate clause “the shoulder as shown by the line 7 to 8”.
The first person pronoun ‘our’ is found in this text. This is to give the impression of a collective group of rabbit chefs and so add weight to her assertion, e.g. we think….’our opinion’ is… as opposed to merely what she thinks, with the first person pronoun, ‘I’… Instead of merely stating an opinion with a declarative sentence, e.g. ‘This is the best way to carve a rabbit’, the pronoun acts as a friendly way to put forward an idea as it’s more of an opinion than a solid imperative.
The impact of the declarative sentence ‘The back should…’ is lessened by through the use of a modal verb ‘should’ which suggests rather than states. It elicits a more compliant reader.
The second paragraph is hard to follow as it includes adjectives such as ‘trussed’ which show the text’s age as this verb in the adjective form is archaic and no longer used in Modern English.
The syntax is different to modern day texts. For example ‘then let the leg be taken off’. Nowadays this would translate as ‘take the leg off’. However it appears in the passive and so softens the force of the imperative.
The superlative ‘best’ is used to reassure the reader that her plan of cutting a rabbit is the only one to follow.
The verb “carving” is a transitive verb with a gerund ending ‘ing’. This make the tense present perfective and makes it seems like its actively happening now.
“Let the knife be drawn” is passive and so forces more emphasis on the knife.
Declarative sentences are found for example “A roast rabbit is rather differently trussed from one that is meant to be boiled” The stative verb ‘is’ makes it sound factual.
“Those” is an anaphoric reference as it related back into the text to “pieces”. Anaphoric references aid flow without repetition of the same word.
Definite articles “the” are used to ensure the reader that what they are using is right. “the” is specific whereas an indefinite article “a” is vague and leaves the reader with ambiguous instructions.

o 1900s
o Porridge and Polish
o OATMEAL PORRIDGE 1 tbsp medium oatmeal, 2pts water, salt. Boil the water, add the salt and sprinkle in the oatmeal stirring carefully to prevent lumps. Boil for five to six minutes. Put on the lid, simmer for about 25 mins stirring frequently. If necessary add a little more water as porridge should be of a pouring consistency. Note. Oates are the most nutritious of all cereals and are rich in fat. Oatcakes contain twice as much buiding material as an equal quantity of bread and have nearly twice the fuel value. Equal quantities of fine oatmeal and flour make a good loaf. Oatmeal may also be used to replace flour in various other ways, e.g. in puddings, cakes, scones, biscuits, for thickening soups and for coating food before frying.

A single lexeme “note” is used as a whole sentence. Syntactically, this stands out, possibly to emphasise the point and make it stand out and be memorable. The purpose of such emphasis on this single verb, in the imperative is to take on a didactic role and draw attention to itself.
Found in this extract are abbreviations such as “tbsp” and “pts”. The purpose is to inform the reader of the quantities but avoid unneccisaaryli clarifying the whole word. The extract, therefore, is dependant on pragmatics through the creation of a semantic field of cookery.
In the first sentence, there is a lack of conjunctions aiding the flow of the sentence. This is a method of keeping the order brief and to the point in order to efficiently instruct the cooker.
Short simple sentences are employed by the writer and are a feature because oders need to be clear and concise.
Modal verbs are a key feature in this extract for example “may”. It elicits a compliant addressee and suggests something rather than forcefully ordering it. On the other hand, there are many imperatives in this text. This is important for a cook book because it gives the reader assurance that what they are doing is correct and leaves no ambiguity. Such imperatives for example “boil”, “put” and “add” eradicate any confusion.
Verbs in the present perfective for example “pouring” and “stirring” have the gerund ending of “ing”. This is to give the impression that the action is happening now and is applicable and active.
“OATMEAL PORRIDGE” has been capitalised for the effect of drawing attention to itself and grab its audience. This makes it clear that they are indeed awaiting the sumptuousness of oatmeal porridge.
Syntactic parallelism is found in the sentence “Oatcakes contain twice as much building material as an equal quantity of bread and have nearly twice the fuel value.” This is to balance the syntax whilst emphasising the number of times (twice).
Orthographically, the word “oates” is different to today’s spelling of the word. However the inclusion of an extra, ‘e’ ‘oates’ reveals the texts age as nowadays this extra bound morpheme has been omitted.
The superlative “most” has been used in the phrase “most nutritious”. This is to assure the reader that their nutritional knowledge is sound but also to add interesting fact into the recipe.
Specific measurements are stated in this text. It is also less formal as it uses the number instead of the word for example “2”. This decrease in formality reflects the later age of this piece.
Declarative sentences such as “oats are the most nutritious …” give factual information and add a little extra information to entertain and inform the reader.
The subordinating clause “if necessary” modifies the sentence “add a little more water as porridge should be of a pouring consistency.” Which would otherwise be a declarative sentence. In this way, it give the reader options and makes it seem less restrictive.
An active voice is used a as a tool to draw more attention to the verb for example “boil the water” as opposed to the passive “let the water be boiled”. This informs the reader more efficiently as the verb is at the beginning of the sentence
“oatmeal porridge” is an example of a compound noun. It makes the object more specific which is important in getting the recipe exactly right.

Shipping Texts Analysis

1745 – The Good and Bad Effects of Tea Considered

The GOOD and BAD

Wherein are exhibited,

The Physical Virtues of TEA; its general
and particular Use; to what Constitutions
agreeable; at what Times and Seasons
it is most proper to be drank; and when
and how prejudicial.

To which are subjoined,
Some Considerations on Afternoon Tea-
drinking, and the many subsequent Evils attend-
ing it; with a Persuasive to the Use of our own
wholsome Product, SAGE, etc.
AUTHOR of The Nature of an Intermitting Fever
and Ague consider’d, lately publish’d.


The repeated use of semi-colons splits the texts sentences, just giving the reader the simple facts rather than confusing the text with compound and complex sentences.

The age of the text is shown in the word order of the sentence starting ‘wherein are exhibited’. The syntax would now be structured with the verb – ‘are exhibited’ at the end of the sentence. This is used to introduce the list of contents and make the text clear to read and understand.

It would be considered ungrammatical for the clause ‘to what constitutions agreeable’ to be the non-finite – it does not contain a finite verb to give the reader and idea of time/tense. By not using the modern form ‘to what constitutions it is agreeable,’ it is made obvious that grammatical prescriptivism was not yet widespread. This brief form suits the piece’s purpose of listing topics succinctly.

The passive form ‘to be drank’ is used instead of an active ‘to drink,’ which has the effect of making tea, the subject of the text, the most syntactically important part of the sentence – the focus.

The sentence starting ‘to which are subjoined’ has its subjects after the verb, unusual in modern English. This syntactic structure makes the purpose of the sentence, to introduce additional topics, clear.

The capital letters used in this paragraph are ungrammatically used, not on proper nouns or at the beginning of a sentence but on ‘Tea’ and ‘Considerations.’ These are possibly used to highlight words fore mentioned in the piece’s title.

The text uses archaic vocabulary, such as ‘wherein,’ and older concepts such as ‘afternoon tea’ which are not an every day occurrence for the majority in today’s world, therefore indicating this is an older text from when these ideas were prevalent.

Declarative sentences, for example, ‘To which are subjoined…’ indicate the text’s factual nature, and concise style.

Pre-modification, such as ‘afternoon tea,’ ‘wholesome product,’ and ‘subsequent evils,’ is used throughout. Pre-modifying with an adjective is clearer and more succinct than post-modification, which suits the text’s purpose as a clear contents list.

The writer has the used the used the abbreviation ‘etc.’ so he can keep the text as concise as possible, and avoid giving a complete list that may bore the audience.

The text is very general by using the indefinite article, showing it is giving facts about tea as a broad subject rather than specifying a particular type of tea, or suchlike.

The text uses compound sentences made up of listed clauses separated by semi-colons, which contain the maximum amount of information and brevity.

The noun ‘virtues’ is used in a context in which it would not be appropriate with the connotations it has acquired in modern use: religious value judgements and a moral sense of the word ‘good’. The same is true of the way ‘Evils’ is used in this text: this word, although it is repeated in a religious/ moral context, has changed in meaning since this text was written.

The word ‘constitution’ would have been perfectly clear to the intended 18th century audience, meaning physical health and strength – now however, it has largely fallen out of use.

The text tends to use concrete nouns, such as, ‘tea’ and ‘sage’, as it is a factual piece and therefore does not want to use lots of abstract nouns to make it highly figurative.

1786 – Monody on the Death of Captain Pierce

How long with raging winds and seas he fought,
Suggesting all that human prudence ought!
And when at last, of ev’ry human hope bereft,
Th’affrighted crew their sinking vessel left,
“Can ought be done,” he kindly ask’d, “to save
“These dear companions from the briny wave?”
Ah, hapless parent! who can pain such woe!
“They’re doom’d to sink, deep in the gulph below.”
At that dread moment, to his feeling breast,
In one paternal sad embrace, he prest
The lovely objects of his fondest care,
And, scorning life, resloved their fate to share.


Compound and complex sentences are used to keep the text flowing, as a simple sentence would make the text abrupt, which would not be sympathetic to the subject.

The superlative ‘fondest’ is used to show how caring the subject, Captain Pierce, was and therefore is very suitable regarding the texts purpose as an ode.

The text uses the definite article, ‘Th’affrighted crew…’ which relates the situation specifically to Captain Pierce, the ode subject.

Most of this text has been written in the past tense, ‘he fought,’ ‘he … ask’d,’ and ‘he prest,’ as it is recalling part of someone’s life as an ode to them.

The sentences switch between passive and active forms, probably so they can best fit in with the rhythm and rhyme of the rhyming couplet structure.

There is use of pre-modification, such as ‘briny wave’, and ‘hapless parent’, which gives extra description and therefore gives the listener a better picture.

The text uses many apostrophes where letters have been omitted, probably so there is a definite rhythm to the ode, for example, ‘ev’ry’, ‘ask’d’, and ‘doom’d’.

The text has been written in rhyming couplets, ‘bereft’ and ‘left’, to emphasise the text is special, i.e. an ode, rather than just a passage of words.

There is not constant capitalisation through the text, for example, ‘…parent! who can…’ showing that grammatical words were not always adhered to in an older text, or that not very many people were intended to read it.

This text also has a sentence that starts with the conjunction ‘and’, again showing different, or less prescriptivist, grammatical rules, indicating the texts age, or how it has been used by the writer for effect.

The words ‘The’ and ‘affrighted’ have been joined together in the text to form ‘Th’affrighted’. This could be because one word flows better with the rhythm of the ode than two.

The interjection ‘Ah’ is used as an exclamatory sound at the start of a sentence. Interjections are not commonly found in written speech and therefore, this indicates that the text is meant to be spoken.

The text has been written in the third person singular and plural, shown by the use of personal pronouns, ‘he’ and ‘their’. This demonstrates the text is about others therefore fulfilling its purpose as an ode.

In the line ‘Th’affrighted crew their sinking vessel left’ the verb left is not placed where you would expect, which could again be due to the age of the text and the difference in grammatical rules, or due to the fact the text is written in rhyming couplets and the writer needed to place the verb there for the rhyme.

Archaic vocabulary, such as ‘gulph’, ‘companions’ and ‘affrighted’, indicate that this is an old text.

1883 – Sailors Language and Mutinous Songs

voyage to China for writing the words of a song which the
sailors sang on every possible occasion when the captain was
on deck. He gave me a copy of the words, which I found to
be a rude enumeration of Jack’s troubles, every stanza winding
up with a shout of “Board of Trade ahoy!!. Some of the
verses are quite to the point . The first runs:-
“I’m only a sailor man- tradesmen would I were,
For I’ve ever rued the day I became a tar;
Rued the rambling notion, ever the decoy
Unto such an awful life. Board of Trade, ahoy!”

One can imagine the skipper pricking up his ear at this
shout, and looking very hard at the men who were chorusing
it. The song goes on:-
“Can ye wonder mutiny, lubber-like, will work,
In our mercantile marine, cramm’d with measly port?
Is it wonderful that men lose their native joy,
With provisions maggoty? Board of Trade ahoy!”

By this time, we may take it, the skipper was feeling about
for a loose belaying-pin. But the exasperating touch was yet
to come:-
“Oh had we a crew to stand by when we’re ashore,
Show this horrid stuff that pigs even would abhor!
Sue the swindlint dealer who’d our health destroy.
What say ye, oh sailor friends? Board ot trade ahoy!”

“Dutchmen here before the mast, and behind it too!
Dutchmen mate and carpenter, Dutchmen most the crew!
Foreigners to man our ships, horrible employ!
What’s old England coming to? Board of Trade ahoy!”


The pronoun ‘we’, and the inclusive impersonal pronoun ‘one’, are used which includes the reading audience in the writers discoveries and adds an informal tone to the piece, whose purpose it is to inform but clearly also to entertain.

The piece uses pre-modification with adjectives, such as ‘a rude enumeration,’ ‘a loose belaying-pin’ and ‘exasperating touch.’ This makes it short and to the point, and is simpler to read as it includes less complex information.

Varying sentence lengths and types give the piece a fluid style suited to a high-reading age but also to its purpose of entertainment. Simple sentences, such as, ‘some of the verses are quite to the point,’ have the stylistic effect of being wryly humorous in their understatement, where as more complex sentences, such as that beginning ‘he gave me…’ are clear and convey information efficiently.

The adverbial ‘on every possible occasion’ is used in the first paragraph to emphasise the deliberate frequency with which the song was performed. Although superfluous, its function is humorous.

Some complex language is used, appropriately, from the lexical field of sailing, which presupposes a certain amount of prior pragmatic knowledge on the part of the reader. These expressions, amongst them ‘skipper,’ ‘belaying-pin,’ and ‘deck,’ give the piece authenticity as well as confirming the intended audience as readers interested – if not involved – in nautical life.

‘…Every stanza winding up with a shout of “Board of Trade ahoy!!”’ demonstrates a cataphoric reference, as it refers to the song which occurs later in the text, and it gives the reader a short summary of what is to follow.

The line, ‘But the exasperating touch…’ starts with a connective, ‘but’, which is not considered to be grammatically correct now, but could have been used as grammatical rules were not as important in the 1800’s, or because the writer wanted to be more concise with their information.

The interjection ‘Oh’ is used, indicating that this part of the text was meant to be spoken, fitting with its purpose as a song.

‘For writing’ has been used instead of ‘to write’, indicating the writer wanted to imply to the audience that the writing is an ongoing process.

The modal verb of possibility, ‘may,’ is used in the text, as while the writer is expressing their views on the song, they also want to offer the reader the chance to see it in their own way and form their own opinion.

The post-modifier in ‘provisions maggoty’ is used to give a more graphic description of the noun provisions to the audience, and is also an indicator of an older text.

The use of the semicolon to split two main clauses, ‘…weevils; how demon…’, makes the text much simpler, not having to use compound or complex sentences, which makes the writing better suited to its purpose of a song.

The use of contractions, such as, ‘who’d’, ‘where’s’, and ‘I’ve’, makes the sentences less complicated for when they are going to be sung.

There is a repeated use of apostrophes where letters have been omitted, ‘snubb’d’ and ‘cramm’d’, shortens the words to fit in with a quicker pace of song.

The text uses a simile ‘salt junk like mahogany’ to give a more vivid description to the listener of life at sea.

1604-Cawdrey’s Table Alphabeticall
Such as by their place and calling, (but especially Preachers) as haue occasion to speak publiquely before the ignorant people, are to bee admonished, that they neuer affect any strange ynckhorne termes, but labour to speake so as is commonly receiued, and so as the most ignorant may well vnderstand them: neyther seeking to be ouer fine or curious, nor yet liuing ouer carelesse, vsing their speech, as most men doe, & ordering their wits, as the fewest haue done. Some men seek so far for outlandish English, that they forget altogether their mothers language, so that if some of their mothers were aliue, they were not able to tell, or vnderstand what they say, and yet these fine English Clearks, will say they speak in their mother tongue; but one might well charge them, for counterfeyting the Kings English. Also, some far journied gentlemen, at their returne home, like [as they love to goe in forraine apparrell, so they will pouder their talke with ouer-sea language.]


  • It uses different inflections to indicate the tense of verbs, ‘are to bee’, ‘men doe’, ‘to speake’, this shows that this is an old text and that language has changed.
  • All proper nouns used have capital letters, ‘Kings’, ‘Clearks’, this is no longer a feature of modern texts and therefore shows the texts is from the Early Modern English period.
  • There are different comparatives used in the text, ‘fewest’, this is not commonly used today as we would more likely use ‘least’ and so therefore shows language has changed.
  • There are very complex sentences in the text, with lots of punctuation ‘Such as by their place and calling,(but especially Preachers as haue…..’, this is a common feature of old texts.
  • In many words in the text the letter ‘u’ was used where we would now use ‘v’, ‘haue’, ‘ouer’, ‘neuer’, this change in orthography suggests it is an old text from the Early Modern English Period.
  • There are lots of archaic words in the text, ‘ynckhorne’, ‘forraine’, this shows it is an old texts as these words are not commonly used today.
  • Frequently uses the superlative ‘most’ to emphasise the point being made by the writer.
  • It uses the anaphoric reference ‘they’ to refer back to the ignorant people in the text, this binds the text together which is the purpose of a dictionary.
  • Different expressions used in the text, ‘Such as by’, which are no longer used today, showing language has changed.
  • The use of the term ‘One’ in the text is rarely used in modern English, and the noun ‘people’ is more commonly used, this clearly shows that this is an old text. The word ‘one’ has had a semantic shift as it’s meaning is no longer used to describe people but is known as a number.
  • Uses personal pronouns ‘they’ and ‘their’ to make the text connect more with the reader who will be have an interest in the English language.
  • Uses the attributive adjective ‘ignorant’ in ‘ignorant people’ to make the text more to the point and put more emphasis on the type of people the writer is referring to, and therefore make the point clearer.
  • In the text there are unusual verb phrases such as ‘So as is’, which show the readers assumed knowledge.
  • Uses the active voice, ‘vsing their speech,’, ‘such as by their place and calling’, this makes it clear who is performing the subject of the verb and is therefore more informative.
  • Uses lots of premodifying adjectives, such as ‘fine’ in ‘fine English Clearks’ this adds more information to the text and so achieves its purpose of informing the reader.
  • The noun phrase ‘King’s English’ is used in the text showing the different time period as now it is the ‘Queen’s English’.

1673- Head’s Canting Academy
However, I shall endeavour to give you an exect account of these Caterpillars, with their hidden and mysterious way of speaking, which they make use to blind the eyes of those they have cheated or rob’d, and inform one another with what they have done, or designe to do. There is no profest Rogue whatsoever, (if he be qualified for his theiving faculty) but must be well vers’d in Canting: and to the intent that they may not fall short of being excellent proficients in all manner of Roguery, they lay the ground work thereof in Canting, for by this they are able to converse with and understand those of the upper Form of Villany, and by constant frequenting their company, become acquainted with Canting words which are most new, and what are thrown aside as too commonly known, the use whereof if not timely left off, may be the Instruments which may unhappily betray them to their condign punishments.

  • Prepositions are joined to the end of words, ‘whereof’, ‘thereof’, this is no longer done today and shows that this is an old text
  • Verbs are shortened by the use of an apostrophe, ‘rob’d’, ‘vers’d’, this shows it is an old text as verbs in the past tense now have an ‘ed’ ending.
  • Subordinate clauses are used in the text, such as ‘with their hidden and mysterious ways of speaking’ this adds more information to the text which is the purpose of the text to inform the reader.
  • It uses personal pronouns, for example ‘I’ and ‘He’ to connect with the reader and make the text more personable so easier to relate to and understand what point the writer is making.
  • There are lots of declarative sentences such as ‘There is no profest Rogue whatsoever’ suggesting that it is a speech and gives the information in a more direct form so persuades the reader to agree with the writer.
  • Different comparatives used, ‘most new’, this is not commonly used today as we would say ‘newest’, and therefore shows that language has changed.
  • Repetition of plural possessive noun ‘they’ throughout emphasises how badly the write thinks of the people as if he can’t bear to give them a proper name.
  • Use of common nouns ‘caterpillars’ to refer to a group of people, which shows that the writer dislikes them due to the negative connotations of the word.
  • Uses lots of conjuctions throughout the article ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘for by’, which helps to emphasise the writer’s poiont that there are many things wrong with these people.
  • Use of modal verb ‘may’ shows the writer is thinking and shows he is different opinions.
  • Uses many declarative sentences, ‘There is no profest Rogue whatsoever..’ to show his personal opinion and make the point being made clear.
  • In the text there is capitalisation of words, ‘Villany’, ‘Caterpillars’, ‘Instruments’ which isn’t a common feature of modern texts.
  • Different consonants with the same sound are used, ‘designe’, this is one of the features of Early Modern English.
  • The reference to ‘Canting’ slang as a type of language or speech suggests it is an old text
  • The use of the metaphor, ‘to blind the eyes’ suggests people have been deceived.

1755- Johnson’s Dictionary
Thus it happens, that in things difficult there is danger from ignorance, and in things easy from confidence; the mind, afraid of greatness, and disdainful of littleness, hastily withdraws herself from painful searches, and passes with scornful rapidity over tasks not adequate to her powers, sometimes too secure for caution, and again too anxious for vigorous effort; sometimes idle in a plain path, and sometimes distracted in labyrinths, and dissipated by different intentions.A large work is difficult because it is large, even though all its parts might singly be performed with facility; where there are many things to be done, each must be allowed its share of time and labour, in the proportion only which it bears to the whole; nor can it be expected, that the stones which form the dome of a temple, should be squared and polished like the diamond of a ring.

  • In the text prepositions are joined up with verbs in a way that is no longer used, ‘danger from ignorance’ would now be ‘danger of ignorance’, showing that this is an old text.
  • There are different grammatical constructions in the text, for example the use of the infinitive ‘many things to be done’ would no longer be used, it would be ‘many things to do’.
  • In the text the adjective little has changed to the noun ‘littleness’, which shows how language has changed.
  • It uses bound morphemes in ‘littleness’ and ‘greatness’ to exaggerate the point being made and therefore make the reader understand the point more clearly.
  • In the text there are personal pronouns, such as ‘her’ showing the subject clearly and show informing the reader.
  • It uses the attributive adjective ‘large’ in a ‘A large work’ which is more simple and to the point and therefore makes the point being made more clear.
  • Uses the post modifying adjective ‘difficult’ in ‘work is difficult’ which is more complicated and shows a more sophisticated style which would be expected in a dictionary.
  • The modal verb ‘should’ is used, which is persuasive and is trying to make the reader agree with the viewpoint of the writer.
  • The word ‘again’ is used as a conjunction in the text, ‘and again’, whereas now it would be replaced by ‘also’. The word ‘again’ is used in a different context as now it refers to something that has already happened.
  • The archaic word ‘Thus’ is used in the text which suggests it is an old text
  • The whole text is made up of two complex sentences, ‘A large work is difficult because….’, this is a common feature of old texts and reflects the complex subject of the text.
  • Throughout the text there is lots of premodifying adjectives to describe the nouns, ‘plain path’, ‘painful searches’, this gives extra information to the reader.
  • The simile ‘like the diamond of a ring’ makes the text more enjoyable for the reader.
  • Different syntax of words is used in the text, ‘in things difficult’, ‘in things easy’ would now be ‘in difficult things’ and ‘in easy things’, this change of word order shows that language has changed and shows this is an old text.

The word ‘frequenting’ has the past tense verb ending ‘ing’ which is no longer used today, it would be ‘frequently’ which shows language has changed.

If Beef, be sure to Paper the Top, and baste it well all the Time it is roasting, and throw a Handful of Salt on it. When you see the Smoke draw to the Fire, it is near enough; then take it off the Paper, baste it well, and drudge it with a little Flour to make a fine froth. (Never salt your roast meat before you pay it to the Fire, for that draws out all the Gravy. If you would keep it a few days before you dress it, dry it very well with a clean Cloth, then flour it all over, and hang it where the air will come to it; but always be sure always to mind that there is no damp Place about it, if there is you must dry it well with a Cloth.) Take up your Meat, and garnish your Dish with nothing Horse-radish.


1005. A noble dish is a turkey, roast or boiled. A Christmas dinner with the middle classes of this empire, would scarcely be a Christmas dinner without its turkey; and we can hardly imagine an object of greater envy than is presented by a respected portly pater-familias carving, at the season devoted to good cheer and genial charity, his own fat turkey, and carving it well. The only art consists, as in the carving of a goose, in getting from the breast as many fine slices as possible; and all must have remarked the very great difference in the large number of people whom a good carver will succeed in serving. As we have stated in both the carving of a duck and goose, the carver should commence cutting slices close to the wing from, 2 to 3, and then proceed upwards towards the ridge of the breastbone: this is not the usual plan, but, in practice will be found the best. The breast is the only part which is looked on as fine in a turkey, the legs being very seldom cut off and eaten at table: they are usually removed to the kitchen, where they are taken off, as here marked, to appear only in a form which seems to have a special attraction at a bachelor’s supper-table, – we mean devilled: served in this way, they are especially liked and relished.

SCOTCH EGGS6 Hard boiled egges. 1/4 lb sausage meet or mince. 2 oz mashed potatoes, browned breadcrumbs. Mix the mashed potatoes with the sausage meet or mince. Remove the shells, cover the eggs with the mixture and coat with crumbs. Fry until a golden brown, preferably in deep fat. Serve hot with tomato sauce, spaghetti or spinach, or cold with salad or watercress. Note. Cooked lentils or beans may be used instead of the sausage meat. Prepare the mixture as for lentil roast. (see recipe, page 33.)

Analytical Sentences

Text from 1700’s

1. Extreme use of capitalisations for emphasis (e.g. to Paper the Top)
2. Use of archaic verbs that are no longer used in this context (e.g. dynamic verb ‘throw’)
3. Use of parenthesis to add more information
4. Use of imperative sentences help to provide the reader with clear instructions (e.g. Baste it)
5. Use of intensifying adverb ‘very’ emphasises the verb ‘dry’ because of its importance in the recipe.
6. Use of prepositional phrase to add extra information which may be useful to the reader while cooking (e.g. ‘for that draws out all the gravy)
7. Use of semi-colons to join two related sentences to place all the information in one place so it is easily accessible for the reader.
8. Most sentences are compound (shown by the frequent use of conjunctions ‘and’ and ‘but’), which make the recipe quite easy and simple to follow and understand, whilst also providing additional information in some cases using the conjunctions (e.g. but always be sure).
9. The adverb ‘never’ is used as a negative to clearly state to the reader that they should not do whilst carrying out the instructions for the recipe. It is also used at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis.
10. Repetition of the adverb of time ‘always’ shows its importance in the sentence and is a feature of archaic grammar.
11. The attributive adjective ‘clean’ that modifies ‘cloth’ provides the reader with precise information about the state of the cloth.
12. The many dynamic verbs ‘paste’ and ‘flour’ provide clear instructions for the reader.
13. Repetition of the stative verb ‘is’ enforces the fact that this is an instruction, making it easier to follow.
14. The sentences used are mainly active to focus on the reader, as they are the ones who will be carrying out the instructions for the recipe.
15. Continuous use of the second person singular pronoun ‘you’ to speak directly to the reader, as the recipe is instructing them on how to cook the beef. This also personalises the text for the reader, therefore may be more appealing to them.

Text from 1800’s

1. The superlative ‘best’ is used to state the ideal way of preparing and cooking the turkey, thus emphasising this method to the reader.
2. The first person plural pronoun ‘we’ is used throughout the text to include the reader thus personalising the text and involving the reader as ‘part of the team’.
3. The proper noun ‘Christmas’ is used to provide the reader with an example of when the turkey could be cooked, its importance being emphasised through the repetition of the noun.
4. The stative verb ‘is’ is used to form declarative sentences to state facts in the text (e.g. ‘the breast is the only part’).
5. The concrete compound noun ‘supper-table’ is used to describe what the writer is talking about (i.e. When and where the food mentioned can be eaten)
6. Many commas are used to split the long sentences up so they are easier to follow by the reader, thus also making them easier to understand.
7. The abstract noun ‘art’ is used top describe the careful attention needed when carving a turkey, making it seem an important and skilful procedure/ part of the dinner.
8. Frequent archaic vocabulary is used including the archaic adjective ‘noble’, and the archaic verb ‘removed’ which are words no longer used in that context.
9. The language is very literary and uses extended phrases such as ‘As we have stated’.
10. The use of the intensifying adverb ‘very’ emphasises the word seldom showing its importance to the recipe.
11. The abstract noun ‘envy’ isn’t a material object so it can’t be proven. It is an emotion, which is an opinion and not a fact, providing the reader with biased opinions.
12. The use of the comparative adjective ‘greater’, which pre-modifies the abstract noun ‘envy’ emphasises the fact that the writer thinks the Roast Turkey is the best dish, even though it may not be true.
13. The attributive adjective ‘fine’ is used to modify ‘slices’ as it has positive connotations of being expensive and associated with middle classes.
14. Conditional verbs such as ‘would’ and ‘should’ create the mode of possibility, to suggest to the reader what should be done rather than to force an action on them.
15. Determiners are used to state facts in the text and talk about certain objects and procedures (e.g. the definite article ‘the’ and the indefinite article ‘a’)

Text from 1900’s

1. Use of many imperatives to clearly instruct the reader on what to do whilst cooking (‘fry’ ‘serve’)
2. Abbreviations ‘lb’ and ‘oz’ are used instead of the words ‘pound’ and ‘ounce’ respectively as it is easily understood by its intended audience, and is quicker and easier for them to understand.
3. Many adjectives are used as pre- modifiers to describe and enhance the meaning of the nouns they are describing (e.g. ‘mashed’ ‘browned’ ‘golden’)
4. The sentence structure is not typical of grammatical sentences
(e.g. ‘6 hard-boiled eggs’ can’t be used as a sentence in grammatical terms however it is used here to state ingredients).
5. Most of the sentences are either simple (e.g. mix the mashed potatoes with the sausage meet or mince) or compound (e.g. shown by the use of conjunctions ‘and’) thus making the recipe easy to understand and follow.
6. The imperative verb ‘note’ is used as a short sentence by itself to make it stand out, therefore emphasising the writers point by making it short and snappy.
7. Use of parenthesis provides more information and links to other recipes in the cookbook.
8. Omission of words (e.g. ‘and’) makes the sentence ungrammatical, however it is easier to read as there are fewer words present to be read.
9. The adverbial phrase ‘preferably in deep fat’ is used to provide the reader with extra information that will be beneficial to them, as it will improve their cooking.
10. Use of more modern verbs (e.g. ‘cover’) that are representable of modern day cooking.
11. The attributive adjectives ‘hard-boiled’ and ‘browned’ modify the nouns, providing more information to the reader about how the recipe should be carried out.
12. The repetition of the connective ‘or’ provides options for the reader to modify the recipe.
13. The anaphoric reference to ‘preparation of lentils’ links the rest of the texts, hence, familiarising the reader with the process of preparation.
14. The determiner ‘the’ is used to state the certain aspects of the recipe (e.g. ‘the shells’, ‘the eggs’ and ‘the mixture’. The verb ‘coat’ requires a certain degree of knowledge for coking, hence using precise terms, which the readers can interpret.
15. The technical verb ‘coat’ is an example of jargon that is used in the recipe, as it is specific to cooking and so the reader will be able to understand what they have to do, as they too will have had experience with cooking. 


5 thoughts on “texts through ages – 2006

  1. The text of the song “Board of Trade, ahoy!” was written by my 2nd great grandfather Alexander Septimus Hay (1826-1907). He also wrote in dialect and published “The Illektric Leet” and “The Dandylion Clock.”

    Tony Richardson, Bellingham Northumberland

    • i hope Alexander Septimus Hay wouldn’t mind his efforts being used as an example of slightly antiquated syntax and lexical choice on a school’s english language website. copies of “The Illektric Leet” and “The Dandylion Clock” would be appreciated if they are floating around


  2. Hello aggslanguage. You can find the two texts using the following URL:


    which also provides a short biography of the author. My mother always referred to him as an “old sea dog” who ran away to sea at a young age! This should provide an interesting study.

    PS: He had three sons and three daughters. Lizzie is Elizabeth Hay born in Allhallows Barking Dec 1857 and Katie is Catherine Harris Hay born Feb 1865 in Birkenhead and who died in Poplar District London in 1956

    • this looks great. it’s always good to find old sea dogs and such like somewhere in the family tree

      the website of your link is a great resource and v interesting to look through


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