Challenge #00893-B162: Perish the Thought

(Was trying to find the post that inspired this, but couldn’t)
Considering that literature professors, English teachers, and mandatory readings have managed to make Shakespeare boring, even with the subject material, jokes, innuendo, memorable insults everywhere, and masterful handling of it all, imagine the travesty that will be lessons on Discworld in a few centuries.

Time’s winged chariot… renders all things boring.

They were
doing the Pratchett section of English Lit, which was only slightly less
dull than the Victorian Romance section of English lit. Which included one of the more snore-worthy stories of Sherlock Holmes. But that was
sunshine and daisies compared to Shakespeare.

At least most of Pratchett was still understandable.

Most of it.

is plastic. You only had to look at Shakespeare for that. Before Shakespeare invented half of it, English was nigh-incomprehensible. And
Lora had checked by looking up the Canturbury Tales by Chaucer.


That was extra credit that felt like a punishment detail.

And speaking of punishment…

was Lora’s turn to read. She cleared her throat and droned, “Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder. Elves are marvellous. They cause
marvels. Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies. Elves are
glamorous. They project glamour. Elves are enchanting. They weave
enchantment. Elves are terrific. They beget terror. The thing about
words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to
find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice. Elves are bad.“

Her gran had the
entire set. Lora knew because during summers and sick visits, Gran would
read some of the more kid-friendly stories to her. They sounded infinitely more interesting than this perpetual grind as Boris struggled
with his reading. Making it sound like every individual word was a sentence as he dragged his finger across the page.

Every sentence was a prison sentence. Lora swore the seconds were ticking backwards.

then the class nerd had her turn. Briefly, sunnily, happily turning the words to life and putting colour into the lesson. She even did voices.

Lora turned to stare. How could Vernia read like that? Like she enjoyed it? She was like Gran. Excited to hear that there was a Pratchett section in
their English Lit classes.

Of course Mr Blakely had to interrupt the good reading with a lesson on what Pratchett had meant. Explaining
the joke until it died a lonely death in the pits of dullness.

There had to be a better way to learn this stuff.

Maybe she could ask Gran.

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