One of my favourite novels is Jane Eyre by the 19th century English author Charlotte Brontë. I have read Jane Eyre at least three times and am reading it again. I last read it over 30 years ago in the 20th century. Reading it again in the 21st century is an eye-opener for me. The expression "eye-opener" is used to describe something that surprises you and teaches you something new. Reading Jane Eyre in the 21st century is an eye-opener for me because the writing now seems quite archaic. The word "archaic" means old-fashioned or outdated. Many young people will consider 19th century English archaic.
Some young people may find it very hard to understand the writing in Jane Eyre. I am not young but also came across words in Jane Eyre that I did not understand. Reading the novel reminded me how much the English language has changed over time. One word in the novel I didn’t understand was spoony. I had to look it up in the dictionary. It’s an outdated noun that means a simple, silly, or foolish person. As an adjective, and as an American slang word nowadays, it means foolishly sentimental when expressing love for someone.
Another word I had to check in the dictionary was apothecary. It’s an archaic word that means a person who made and sold medicines in the old days. The modern-day equivalent of an apothecary is a pharmacist, but pharmacists don't make medicines. They only sell medicines.
其中一部我最喜愛的小說，是十九世紀英國作家夏洛蒂‧勃朗特的《簡愛》。我讀了《簡愛》至少三遍，現在又再重讀。上一次讀它，是在超過三十年前的二十世紀。如今在二十一世紀重讀小說，對我來說實在是眼界大開（eye-opener）。習語"eye-opener"是用來形容某事物令你很驚奇，對你來說很有啟發性。在二十一世紀讀《簡愛》，對我來說是大開眼界（eye-opener），因為那種寫法現在看來頗為 archaic—— archaic意思是古代或過時的。許多年輕人都會認為十九世紀的英語古老過時（archaic）。
另一個我不得不查字典的字是 apothecary。它也是一個古老過時的字，指在古時製作和售賣藥物的藥劑師。時至今日，與apothecary 相對應的字是 pharmacist，但今天的藥劑師並不會製藥，他們只會賣藥。