Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Unexpected Revival of Elizabethan English

This is a great little story I picked up from Per Omnia Saecula:

This shows in one fell swoop the ingenuity of the human when pressed (even in bad things), and the perpetual adaptability of the tool that is human language.

A Note on Spelling: The word "ye" is not actually the form of "you" seen in phrases like "She canna dew it, Capt'n; she's givin' ye all she's got!" In this usage, it is simply the word "the", pronounced quite normally as "the". The "th" used to have one letter to represent it, which my middle English times looked enough like the letter y that people started just using the letter y to represent the "th" sound in such cases. This usage continued after the original "th" letter ceased being used altogether.

1 comment:

SN said...

Glad you pointed that out: I have seen "that" represented the same way... as yt, in old sources. Since it seems clear that it was always pronounced "that", ye must have been pronounced "the" in this context.