We have already mentioned the Internet Archive collection called “The Eighteenth Century,” which consists of digitized microfilm copies of eighteenth-century publications, and the librarian’s decision to classify the language of those publications as “Middle English.” The collection continues to expand: as of yesterday, August 2, 2023, there were 37,343 books in it. Of those, 37,334, or all but 9, have the language marked as “Middle English.” This means that, of the 38,015 books in the Internet Archive whose language is listed as Middle English, roughly 98.2% are from the 1700s.

It would be interesting to draw some conclusion from that observation, but Dr. Boli does not know what to conclude, other than that the ignorance or carelessness of one librarian can have unforeseeably far-reaching effects.


  1. KevinT says:

    This is yet another example of the crisis in science these days. In this case, it’s a failure of library science. Clearly, these degrees are no longer worth the parchment they’re printed on.

  2. Occasional Correspondent says:

    A late addition:
    Search for the ASIN B09QC66MYF and you will find
        BUYING GUIDE Single Issue Magazine
        Middle English Edition

    So we see that Middle English is in use as late as 2022!

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