760px-Sarah_Longe_sugar_cakesHandwritten manuscripts from the 16th century are tough going for modern readers, writes Roberta Kwok in The New Yorker. But everyday letters and recipes, in addition to famous plays from the era, are a guide to the evolution of our language. Roberta tells of a crowdsourcing project to transcribe bits of olde texte. What the linguists have already learned about desserts alone is revealing. More at robertakwok.com and @robertakwok image: Folger Shakespeare Library