A lectureur ther was, a lerned man,
That fro the tyme hys studyes first bigan
Dyd practyse evere worde soe to deraynge
That he wolde sey 'arcayne' yf he meant 'straynge';
And where anothere man myghte 'seye' or 'stayte'
Hym liste to rendre as 'articulayte',
And wolde 'conflayte' a thyng, and scorne to use
A mor accordaunte worde, as 'blende' or 'fuse',
And yf he sawe some patterne in a rime
That 'patterne' then becayme a 'paradygme'.
Ful solempne was hys uttrance, tho absurde,
For fewe that herde hym understoode o worde.
Hys scoleres myghte complayne that thys was soe,
And myghte suspecte, but sadly colde not knowe
That thys intermynable catachresys*
Was naughte but hys owne academyc thesys
Somtyme submytted for hys owne MA
(And no thyng added therto from that daye);
And what was evene worse, hyt muste be seyde,
Eche soporyfic worde of hyt was read.
So that hys scoleres al fro yeer to yeer
Must bar what next yeer's scoleres eke muste heere,
And note, and in due tyme regurgytate
Yfhyr desyr was to graduayte.
Now Gode forbydde any sholde take hys place,
Adding one mor to hys bysmotered race;
For yf suche scolerschyppe becayme endemyc
Then only Gode colde helpe the academyc.

W. G. S.
York University
Spring Term 1993

* Roughly translated, 'a load of rubbish'.