Tags

, , , ,


There was a time when English had formal and familiar forms of address, as some modern European languages have. (Vous and tu in French, usted and tu in Spanish, Du and Sie in German). “You” was a formal form of address, as well as being plural objective. For familiar situations, one used “thou” in the singular and “ye” in the plural for the subjective case, and “thee” in the singular and “you” in the plural for the objective case.

Additionally, there were other words which I find add depth and beauty to the language, but which have fallen out of fashion. For instance, the word “methinks” meant “it seems to me”. With the exception of religious uses and a few traditional dialects, these words and their associated forms have fallen out of fashion.

Also, there was a time when double and triple negatives were allowed in the language as intensifiers. In modern English, “I don’t know nothing” means “I know something.” In archaic English, it meant “I really don’t know anything.” The more negatives you attached, the more you intensified the concept expressed.

All these forms are now lost, and I feel this is a loss for the English language. Were it in my power, I would recover at least some of them. How many of you agree with me?

http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/2061196/

Advertisements