History Analysis / YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe

21st Feb '17 11:09:41 PM Trying2CIt
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* Misusing "yon". It wasn't just some archaic equivalent for "that"; it indicated something over in the distance. In other words, "yon" suggests that something is much more distant but still noticeable to the speaker than "that" would. And "yon", "yond", and "yonder" could be used interchangeably as adjectives and adverbs, in case you were wondering. Also, "yon" had no plural form, unlike "this" or "that", so "yon window" and "yon windows" are both correct.
* The inflections of the subjunctive mood were used where we now use those of the indicative or an auxiliary of the same mood. Many people may unfortunately misread the subjunctive inflections as indicative ones or mistakes and miss the intended meaning. It doesn't help that even old writers did not always discriminate between the different inflections.
** Conditionals and concessive clauses are tricky. "If the hero be guilty" and "if the hero is guilty" mean two different things. The former has the speaker doubt whether the hero is guilty, whereas the latter has the speaker assume the hero's guilt to be true. The same applies for "though he slay men" and "though he slays men" (except this time the time of the verb with the subjunctive inflection is future, and "though" there really means "even if"). The subjunctive shows doubt, and the indicative shows actuality or reality.

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* Misusing "yon". It wasn't just some archaic equivalent for "that"; it indicated something over in the distance. In other words, "yon" suggests that something is much more distant but still noticeable to the speaker than "that" would. More precisely, "this" refers to what is close to the speaker, "that" to what is close to the addressee, and "yon" to what is distant but still noticeable to both (i.e., "over there"). And "yon", "yond", and "yonder" could be used interchangeably as adjectives and adverbs, in case you were wondering. Also, "yon" had no plural form, unlike "this" or "that", so "yon window" and "yon windows" are both correct.
* The inflections of the subjunctive mood were used where we now use those of the indicative or an a certain auxiliary of the same mood.subjunctive. Many people may unfortunately misread the subjunctive inflections as indicative ones or mistakes and miss the intended meaning. It doesn't help that even old writers did not always discriminate between the different inflections.
** Conditionals and concessive clauses are tricky. "If the hero be guilty" and "if the hero is guilty" mean two different things. The former has the speaker doubt whether the hero is guilty, whereas the latter has the speaker assume the hero's guilt to be true. The same applies for "though he slay men" and "though he slays men" (except this time the time of the verb with the subjunctive inflection is either present or future, and "though" there really means "even if"). The subjunctive shows doubt, and the indicative shows actuality or reality.
12th Feb '17 2:34:05 PM Trying2CIt
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* Pronouncing "saith" as "sayeth". "Saith", like "says", sounds quite a bit different from "say", as it is more accurately pronounced as "seth". "Sayeth" was a later invention and is pronounced exactly as it appears.

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* Pronouncing "saith" as "sayeth". "Saith", like "says", sounds quite a bit different from "say", as it is more accurately pronounced as "seth". "Sayeth" was a later invention and is pronounced exactly as it appears. It was almost certainly so for the second-person singular; "saist" (which, oddly enough, is not spelled as consistently as "saith") sounds more like "sest".



** The main clause of unreal conditionals might not use the subjunctive inflection you're used to seeing. "It were foolish to do that if I were in his shoes" really means "It would be foolish to do that if I were in his shoes". And "if it had not rained, he had arrived there" really means "if it had not rained, he would have arrived there". In fact, the more extensive use of the past subjunctive is where expressions such as "would rather" or "had better" come from.[[note]]An identical sentence structure for those conditionals is used in German, in which language it is much more obvious that the verbs in both the condition and the main clause are subjunctives.[[/note]]

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** The main clause of unreal conditionals might not use the subjunctive inflection you're used to seeing. "It were foolish to do that if I were in his shoes" really means "It would be foolish to do that if I were in his shoes". And "if it had not rained, he had arrived there" really means "if it had not rained, he would have arrived there". In fact, the more extensive use of the past subjunctive is where expressions such as "would "had rather" ("would rather" appeared later) or "had better" come from.[[note]]An identical sentence structure for those conditionals is used in German, in which language it is much more obvious that the verbs in both the condition and the main clause are subjunctives.[[/note]]
12th Feb '17 3:32:04 AM Trying2CIt
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** For purpose clauses, the subjunctive inflection is used because the verb indicates desire (e.g., "Gather everything in order that nothing be lost", "See to it that they be given the treasure"). Even today, we use the subjunctive inflection for "lest" clauses (e.g., "Leave lest he catch you").

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** For purpose clauses, the subjunctive inflection is used because the verb indicates speaker means to indicate desire (e.g., "Gather everything in order that nothing be lost", "See to it that they be given the treasure"). Even today, we use the subjunctive inflection for "lest" clauses (e.g., "Leave lest he catch you").



* The past tense inflections of several irregular verbs are not necessarily the same as those we use today. For instance, "brake" might be used for "broke", "gat" for "got", and "spake" for "spoke".

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* The past tense inflections of several irregular verbs are not necessarily the same as those we use today. For instance, "brake" might be used for "broke", "gat" for "got", and "spake" for "spoke". Also, some irregular verbs of today seemed to be regular verbs back then. For instance, "builded" for "built" and "digged" for "dug". And some regular verbs of today seemed to be irregular verbs back then. For instance, "clomb" for "climbed", and "holp" for "helped".
12th Feb '17 3:22:35 AM Trying2CIt
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** For purpose clauses, the subjunctive inflection is used because it indicates desire (e.g., "Gather everything in order that nothing be lost", "See to it that they be given the treasure"). Even today, we use the subjunctive inflection for "lest" clauses (e.g., "Leave lest he catch you").

to:

** For purpose clauses, the subjunctive inflection is used because it the verb indicates desire (e.g., "Gather everything in order that nothing be lost", "See to it that they be given the treasure"). Even today, we use the subjunctive inflection for "lest" clauses (e.g., "Leave lest he catch you").
12th Feb '17 3:20:40 AM Trying2CIt
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* The past tense inflections of several irregular verbs are not necessarily the same as those we use today. For instance, "brake " might be used for "brake", "gat" for "got", and "spake" for "spoke".

to:

* The past tense inflections of several irregular verbs are not necessarily the same as those we use today. For instance, "brake " "brake" might be used for "brake", "broke", "gat" for "got", and "spake" for "spoke".
12th Feb '17 3:19:40 AM Trying2CIt
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Added DiffLines:

* The inflections of the subjunctive mood were used where we now use those of the indicative or an auxiliary of the same mood. Many people may unfortunately misread the subjunctive inflections as indicative ones or mistakes and miss the intended meaning. It doesn't help that even old writers did not always discriminate between the different inflections.
** Conditionals and concessive clauses are tricky. "If the hero be guilty" and "if the hero is guilty" mean two different things. The former has the speaker doubt whether the hero is guilty, whereas the latter has the speaker assume the hero's guilt to be true. The same applies for "though he slay men" and "though he slays men" (except this time the time of the verb with the subjunctive inflection is future, and "though" there really means "even if"). The subjunctive shows doubt, and the indicative shows actuality or reality.
** For time clauses, the subjunctive inflection is used because the subordinate verb has not occurred in relation to the verb in the main clause (e.g., "Leave before my master find thee").
** For purpose clauses, the subjunctive inflection is used because it indicates desire (e.g., "Gather everything in order that nothing be lost", "See to it that they be given the treasure"). Even today, we use the subjunctive inflection for "lest" clauses (e.g., "Leave lest he catch you").
** A bit less obvious, but expressions such as "be it enacted" or "God bless America" are really subjunctives, which is made clearer since the verbs are not inflected for the third-person singular in those phrases. They really are archaic ways to say "let it be enacted" and "May God bless America".
** The main clause of unreal conditionals might not use the subjunctive inflection you're used to seeing. "It were foolish to do that if I were in his shoes" really means "It would be foolish to do that if I were in his shoes". And "if it had not rained, he had arrived there" really means "if it had not rained, he would have arrived there". In fact, the more extensive use of the past subjunctive is where expressions such as "would rather" or "had better" come from.[[note]]An identical sentence structure for those conditionals is used in German, in which language it is much more obvious that the verbs in both the condition and the main clause are subjunctives.[[/note]]
* Elizabethan English contracts many words that we don't contract today. For instance, "e'en" for "even", "th'" for "the", "'t" for "it", and "o'er" for "over".
* The past tense inflections of several irregular verbs are not necessarily the same as those we use today. For instance, "brake " might be used for "brake", "gat" for "got", and "spake" for "spoke".
11th Jan '17 11:14:31 PM Trying2CIt
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** Shakespeare rarely used "-s" and "-eth" with a plural subject, but those uses were in the vast minority and were seen by later grammarians and modern editors as errors, dialectal or antiquated usage, or uses done for the sake of the work or for no adequate explanation. For comparison, the King James Bible, quite conservative in its language, reserves "-eth" only for the third-person singular, has no plural ending, and does not use "-s" at all. And if the English grammar written by Ben Jonson, a learned contemporary of Shakespeare's, indicates anything, the correct use for those suffixes lies in only the third-person singular. It's safe to say that "-eth" and "-s" were correctly used only for the third-person singular.

to:

** Shakespeare rarely used "-s" and "-eth" with a plural subject, but those uses were in the vast minority and were seen by later grammarians and modern editors as errors, dialectal or antiquated usage, or uses done for the sake of the work rhythm or for no adequate explanation. For comparison, the King James Bible, quite conservative in its language, reserves "-eth" only for the third-person singular, has no plural ending, and does not use "-s" at all. And if the English grammar written by Ben Jonson, a learned contemporary of Shakespeare's, indicates anything, the correct use for those suffixes lies in only the third-person singular. It's safe to say that "-eth" and "-s" were correctly used only for the third-person singular.



* Misusing "yon". It wasn't just some archaic equivalent for "that"; it indicated something over in the distance. And "yon", "yond", and "yonder" could be used interchangeably as adjectives and adverbs, in case you were wondering.

to:

* Misusing "yon". It wasn't just some archaic equivalent for "that"; it indicated something over in the distance. In other words, "yon" suggests that something is much more distant but still noticeable to the speaker than "that" would. And "yon", "yond", and "yonder" could be used interchangeably as adjectives and adverbs, in case you were wondering. Also, "yon" had no plural form, unlike "this" or "that", so "yon window" and "yon windows" are both correct.
11th Jan '17 10:43:29 PM Trying2CIt
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* "Ye" and "you" were used pretty much interchangeably by many writers of Shakespeare's time, with a lot more tendency to use "you" for both nominative and objective cases. But in the King James Bible model, "ye" is only nominative, and "you" only objective. So any archaic writing trying to sound serious or biblical or perhaps a bit more precise would not mix the two up. Incidentally, the reflexive pronoun would be "yourselves".

to:

* "Ye" and "you" were used pretty much interchangeably by many writers of Shakespeare's time, with a lot more tendency to use "you" for both nominative and objective cases. But in the King James Bible model, "ye" is only nominative, and "you" only objective. So any writing using archaic writing trying language to sound serious solemn or biblical or perhaps a bit more precise would not mix the two up. Incidentally, the reflexive pronoun would be "yourselves".


Added DiffLines:

* Misusing "yon". It wasn't just some archaic equivalent for "that"; it indicated something over in the distance. And "yon", "yond", and "yonder" could be used interchangeably as adjectives and adverbs, in case you were wondering.
11th Jan '17 10:37:00 PM Trying2CIt
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* Getting the cases wrong. "Thou" is the nominative case, "thee" is the objective, and "thy" and "thine" are the possessive. In particularly wretched examples, you may see "thou", "thee", "thy", and "thine" used interchangeably, which is pretty much the second person equivalent of using "I", "me", "my" and "mine" interchangeably. Also, "thyself" was used as the reflexive pronoun.
* "Ye" and "you" were used pretty much interchangeably by many writers of Shakespeare's time, with a lot more tendency to use "you" for both nominative and objective cases. But in the King James Bible model, "ye" is only nominative, and "you" only objective. So any archaic writing trying to sound serious or biblical or perhaps a bit more precise would not mix the two up.

to:

* Getting the cases wrong. "Thou" is the nominative case, "thee" is the objective, and "thy" and "thine" are the possessive. In particularly wretched examples, you may see "thou", "thee", "thy", and "thine" used interchangeably, which is pretty much the second person equivalent of using "I", "me", "my" "my", and "mine" interchangeably. Also, "thyself" was used as the reflexive pronoun.
* "Ye" and "you" were used pretty much interchangeably by many writers of Shakespeare's time, with a lot more tendency to use "you" for both nominative and objective cases. But in the King James Bible model, "ye" is only nominative, and "you" only objective. So any archaic writing trying to sound serious or biblical or perhaps a bit more precise would not mix the two up. Incidentally, the reflexive pronoun would be "yourselves".
11th Jan '17 10:34:46 PM Trying2CIt
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* Getting the cases wrong. "Thou" is the nominative case, "thee" is the objective, and "thy" and "thine" are the possessive. The reflexive pronoun is "thyself". In particularly wretched examples, you may see "thou", "thee", "thy", "thine", and "thyself" used interchangeably, which is pretty much the second person equivalent of using "I", "me", "my", "mine", and "myself" interchangeably.

to:

* Getting the cases wrong. "Thou" is the nominative case, "thee" is the objective, and "thy" and "thine" are the possessive. The reflexive pronoun is "thyself". In particularly wretched examples, you may see "thou", "thee", "thy", "thine", and "thyself" "thine" used interchangeably, which is pretty much the second person equivalent of using "I", "me", "my", "mine", "my" and "myself" interchangeably."mine" interchangeably. Also, "thyself" was used as the reflexive pronoun.
* "Ye" and "you" were used pretty much interchangeably by many writers of Shakespeare's time, with a lot more tendency to use "you" for both nominative and objective cases. But in the King James Bible model, "ye" is only nominative, and "you" only objective. So any archaic writing trying to sound serious or biblical or perhaps a bit more precise would not mix the two up.
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