Uncleftish Beholding is the well-known writ by Poul Anderson, who tried to write in a "cleansed" kind of English (since jokingly named Ander-Saxon by Douglas Hofstadter). The following body of that writ shows what English might look like if better handling were made of the Teutonish roots in English, instead of leaning on Latin, Greek, French, and other outland borrowings. This writ, for many First Englishers ("Neo Anglo-Saxonists", in everyday English), is a groundstone work.
- The firststuffs have their being as motes called unclefts. These are mighty small: one seedweight of waterstuff holds a tale of them like unto two followed by twenty-two naughts. Most unclefts link together to make what are called bulkbits. Thus, the waterstuff bulkbit bestands of two waterstuff unclefts, the sourstuff bulkbit of two sourstuff unclefts, and so on. (Some kinds, such as sunstuff, keep alone; others, such as iron, cling together in chills when in the fast standing; and there are yet more yokeways.) When unlike unclefts link in a bulkbit, they make bindings. Thus, water is a binding of two waterstuff unclefts with one sourstuff uncleft, while a bulkbit of one of the forestuffs making up flesh may have a thousand or more unclefts of these two firststuffs together with coalstuff and chokestuff.
The full writ can be found in this link: .
He did this in the following ways:
- newmakings ("firststuff" for "element");
- switchings ("motes" for "particles");
- loan overbringings from the foretongue ("uncleft" from "atom" – Greek a- not + temnein to cut)
- loan overbringings from Theech ("waterstuff" and "sourstuff" for the Theech Wasserstoff and Sauerstoff, themselves rough overbringings of the Newgreek "hydrogen" and "oxygen" — ‘υδρ–, "water" and ’οξυ–, "sharp" + –γεν–, from a deedword for making or building).
It is a groundstone, but like many firsts, does not have overmuch goodness. "Beholding" is a clunky overbringing of Old Greek "theory" with the old meaning, a way of beholding, rather than the new one, a stell of thoughts within lore. A better name for this writ is "Uncleftish Thought-stell".