from “Middling English”

At the end of the 14th century, the spelling and fixing of Middle English was very much up for grabs. Chaucer’s decision to write in a spoken Southern English idiom helped to confirm the richness and versatility of a linguistic region that was starting to strongly de-frenchify its cultural language, de-latinate its vocabulary’s antecedents, and revalue its Anglo-Saxon glossary, while Scandinavian roots were still especially clear and exposed in the syntax and glossary of the North. He made his choices from within the language’s active maelstrom of influences and confluences. Everything about Middle English was a mashup on the rise.