All terms

What is an archaism?

Obsolete language or usage.

Blast from the Past: Uncovering Archaism in Creative Writing

Archaism, also known as obsolete language or usage, refers to words, phrases, or expressions that were once used commonly but no longer have a place in modern language.

In creative writing, archaism can add a unique flavor to the text by evoking a sense of nostalgia or historical context. However, using archaic language too liberally can make the writing sound pompous or verbose.

It is important for writers to carefully consider their use of archaism and determine if it serves the intended purpose without compromising the clarity and readability of the text. Additionally, understanding etymology and the historical evolution of language can help writers incorporate archaic terms and expressions in a way that enhances rather than detracts from their writing.

Old-Fashioned but Timeless: Two Examples of Archaism in Literature
Archaism has been used by numerous renowned authors in their literary works to evoke a sense of time and place. Here are two examples of how this language technique can be implemented within the context of literature.
Shakespeare's Sonnet 18

Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, which begins with 'Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?', makes use of archaic language to create a mood of romanticism and poetic nostalgia.

George R. R. Martin's 'Game of Thrones'

George R. R. Martin's 'Game of Thrones' series contains various examples of archaic language, including the use of 'thou' and 'ye' to reflect the medieval-like setting of the story.