Today I do the second part of my week-long History of the English Language lecture that I traditional giving at the beginning of Brit Lit I.
For some reason, the last time Brit Lit I was taught, it was at an incovenient time, so a lot of more advanced English majors did not take it then and are now in what is essentially a sophomore-level class. Even more bizarre is the situation of several student who took Old English, and now have to hear the entire OE period boiled down to about an hour, and will soon read in translation the very same texts they translated for themselves last semester.
These student are now providing me with a running commentary on my week-long HEL lecture, alternately being exasperated when I digress onto side HEL topics that I find interesting (like the contempt St. Augustine had for the Anglo-Saxons), and frustrated when I don't digress into the topics they like.
So, a question for the community -- what's the coolest little HEL factoid out there?