I was away from home for a while, and restricted to using mobile devices. I find it rather aggravating to write a blog post of any substantial nature using the mobiles. Back at home again, I can now conveniently share with you a great entry in a blog goes back to my early days of reading blogs, Strange Maps.
The maps show the very peculiar place names of the two island groups north of Scotland, Shetland and Orkney. Frank Jacobs, the maintainer and compiler of Strange Maps, says much of what anyone might say about these wonderful names, but he does not address something that I would like to know. How is it that all of these names seem to be English, even if it's a rather peculiar kind of English? When exactly did people in these islands stop speaking some Norse dialect and not only take up English but Anglicize the whole landscape? Of course you could say that the language language of the map is Scots, but then the same question applies with a very minor change in terminology. At what point in Shetland history did somebody look at that rather centrally located site and decide that it was now going to be called Pund of Grutin? If that doesn't mean a pound of something or other, it does a good job of faking it. And what, oh what, was it called before?