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Ye olde Chaucer

Jason Norwood-Young
Jason Norwood-Young

I have a terrible confession to make: I’ve never read Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales looms over me like a black crow, cawing cruelly, but flying away whenever I approach. (I assume this is the kind of stuff I’ll find in the Tales, but having never read them, I really don’t know.) And here our tale takes a surprising turn, with the entrance of Terry Jones. Yes, Monty Python’s Terry Jones, the director of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Turns out Jones was perfectly suited to direct the Grail, as he was also a famous historian. Jones’ final historic work is a Chaucer app that includes side-by-side modern and original middle-English, the actual manuscripts, and a 45-minute narration, and it’s quite brilliant. So good, in fact, I’ll finally read Chaucer myself. Jones sadly died not a month ago, on 21 January 2020, and while he will always be associated with Monty Python first, he really was quite the all-rounder. A bit like Chaucer himself.

Jason Norwood-Young
  • Journalist, developer, community builder, newsletter creator and international man of mystery, Jason was one of the first South Africans to really grasp the importance of data in the newsroom and has remained one step ahead of the trends in the field all the way. Even Naked Data was conceived before email newsletters were cool again. But what does that tell you about the measure of the man? Nothing, that's what. He hides the superman CV behind a truly mild-mannered and overly modest persona and is best described as "one of the nicest guys in the business". When he's angry, it is righteously so, and his anger always wears velvet mittens. The true signs of his genius include the ability to create multilingual puns on demand (witness the alternative Naked Data strap "Putting the heita in to data") and the fact that he offered me a job. (AO)

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