This online edition attempts to aid reading comprehension while
also maintaining the spelling of the original. The punctuation and
stanzaic divisions have been modernized as required. Quotation marks
have been included to indicate more clearly when the debate changes
speakers. All abbreviated words are spelled out in full; those sections
that were abbreviated are italicized so that they can be easily
I have not, however, altered the original spelling. As scribes copied out a text, they often adapted the orthography of the exemplar to aid the local readers who would use the copied text, creating semi-regular patterns of spelling.(1) Though varieties of regional orthography did not always correspond to spoken ones, "such variations can be said to reflect the 'written' dialects and are important in this capacity."(2) To give the modern reader a visual sense of the dialect(s) in which this work was written, the thorn and yogh have not been replaced with the modern "th" or "y"/"gh" respectively, nor have the "u" and "v" been altered as would be demanded by modern usage.
Vocabulary glosses have been attached to the Vernon's version of the debate to ensure that the sense of the medieval text is clear.
1. Gillis Kristensson."On Middle English Dialectology."
So Meny People, Longages, and Tonges. Edinburgh: Michael
Benskin & M. L. Samuels, 1981. 4.
2. Kristensson, 4.