Mock Old English

A Progressive Insurance commercial “Castle” (viewable here) currently running on tv engages in playful imitation of archaic English. As usual, such attempts are seriously inaccurate, but merely give the feel that older forms of English are weird (and use the verb inflection -(e)th a lot). The script, which recognizes the inadequacies of the language:

VIDEO: OPEN ON FLO SITTING ON THRONES MADE OUT OF DISCOUNT BOXES. SHE IS DRINKING OUT OF A CHALICE. JAMIE STANDS NEARBY WEARING A SUIT OF ARMOR MADE FROM POLICY BOXES. THE WHOLE CONVERSATION IS SPOKEN IN BROKEN OLD ENGLISH – OR THEIR BEST ATTEMPT AT OLD ENGLISH.

JAMIE: (OLD ENGLISH ACCENT) I doth declare that thou have brought overmany discounts to thine customers!

FLO: (OLD ENGLISH ACCENT) Safe driver, multi-car, paid in full – a most fulsome bounty indeed, Lord Jamie. [Ouch on fulsome.]

JAMIE: (OLD ENGLISH ACCENT) Thou cometh and we thy saveth! [Problems with thee / thou / thy / thine here; but the facts are complex and variable over time, so maybe we can excuse the misfire on thy.]

VIDEO: KEN WALKS IN.

KEN: What are you doing?

JAMIE: (REGULAR VOICE) We doth offer so many discounts, we have some to spare.

KEN: Oh, you have any of those homeowners discounts?

VIDEO: JAMIE LOOKS DOWN AT HIS ARMOR LOOKING GUILTY. IT’S CLEAR HE MADE HIS ARMOR FROM THE BOXES IN QUESTION. KEN TAKES HIS SHIELD.

KEN: Here we go.

JAMIE: He took my shield my Lady.

FLO: These are troubling times in the kingdom.

ANNOUNCER: More discounts than we knoweth what to do with. Now that’s Progressive.

You can find plenty of other Mock Old English on the net.

One Response to “Mock Old English”

  1. Ellen Says:

    Mock “Early Modern English,” I’d say 🙂

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