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Talking the KJV talk and Shakespeare

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16 replies to this topic

#1
OakWood

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Just curious.

 

Does anybody (apart from certain parts of Britain - Yorkshire) still speak with the gender based Middle English (thee and thou) that we find in the KJV?

It was common in a number of areas in England until the early Twentieth Century and I believe the early American colonists may have spoken like this.

I would hardly expect to find it in today's U.S.A. but if somebody knows otherwise.



#2
bopeep1909

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I do not do well with that language.That is one of the reasons I do not read the KJV.



#3
OakWood

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I do not do well with that language.That is one of the reasons I do not read the KJV.

 

Doest thou not?



#4
the_patriot2014

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wherefore art thou brother?



#5
Littlelambseativy

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There are so many languages which were accustomed to using the plural for a person older than the speaker - that no longer happens in many they have - grown up!



#6
Шарон

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Just curious.

 

Does anybody (apart from certain parts of Britain - Yorkshire) still speak with the gender based Middle English (thee and thou) that we find in the KJV?

It was common in a number of areas in England until the early Twentieth Century and I believe the early American colonists may have spoken like this.

I would hardly expect to find it in today's U.S.A. but if somebody knows otherwise.

 

American Quakers spoke like this. And I think the Amish of today still speak like this as well. 



#7
amor

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It's not "gender based" it's the  usage of  "second person singular" pronouns - which can be used to address either men or women. Thou is the subject pronoun  the equivalent of "I" in the first person; Thee is the equivalent of "me". Outside Yorkshire, well, I hear a lot of people theeing and thouing when I'm in North-East Derbyshire. There was a long Quaker practice (I'm a Quaker) of using these forms long after  they'd been abandoned by the rest of society. The reason for this being that it was seen as being an act of flattery to address an individual with a plural adjective. In the past those with power would "Thee" their social inferiors and expect them to "thou" them. a close analysis of extended Shakespearian text should reflect this distinction. Central to our testimonies is that we treat all people as equal with no respect for the hierarchies and divisions that  human societies create. Most Indo-European languages (French, German, Russian, Welsh Hindi, Urdu, Parsi etc) have similar forms of the verb - tu and vous in French - and similar social conventions.

 

Shakespeare and the Authorised version would normally be classified  as being in early modern English. Chaucer is the best known Middle-English writer and muh less accessible to the modern reader.



#8
OakWood

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It's not "gender based" it's the  usage of  "second person singular" pronouns - which can be used to address either men or women. Thou is the subject pronoun  the equivalent of "I" in the first person; Thee is the equivalent of "me". Outside Yorkshire, well, I hear a lot of people theeing and thouing when I'm in North-East Derbyshire. There was a long Quaker practice (I'm a Quaker) of using these forms long after  they'd been abandoned by the rest of society. The reason for this being that it was seen as being an act of flattery to address an individual with a plural adjective. In the past those with power would "Thee" their social inferiors and expect them to "thou" them. a close analysis of extended Shakespearian text should reflect this distinction. Central to our testimonies is that we treat all people as equal with no respect for the hierarchies and divisions that  human societies create. Most Indo-European languages (French, German, Russian, Welsh Hindi, Urdu, Parsi etc) have similar forms of the verb - tu and vous in French - and similar social conventions.

 

Shakespeare and the Authorised version would normally be classified  as being in early modern English. Chaucer is the best known Middle-English writer and muh less accessible to the modern reader.

 

In Yorkshire however (and I do realise that the dialect extends into Derbyshire and parts of Lancashire and Lincolnshire), the thee and tha'ing is mainly gender based and has lost its original meaning. 'Thee' is often used to describe one person and 'you' can describe one or many people. It is not conferred as a sign of respect or otherwise.



#9
Fez

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There's a bit of KJV in Shakespeare methinks..

 

Take his sonnet...

 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, 
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come; 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

I think it is a really excellent explanation of Love as we should express it.



#10
bopeep1909

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I do not do well with that language.That is one of the reasons I do not read the KJV.

 

Doest thou not?

 

Thou shall not take guff.....and means from you too Oak  :grin:



#11
amor

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My post should have read that those  in authority expected their social inferiors to "you" them. As to the ponit raised by Oakwood, well social equals would thou each other.  . Sociolinguists with regard to this sometimes  distinguish between what  is called  the Power Semantic - the way these forms are used between people of different social ranking 

(thou down you up) and the Solidarity Semantic - the use of thou between friends and you to those you know less well.



#12
alien224

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Maybe some of the old school Amish. The old English is very hard to understand especially for new believers and children. The New American Standard is the version I prefer.

#13
OakWood

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I do not do well with that language.That is one of the reasons I do not read the KJV.

 

Doest thou not?

 

Thou shall not take guff.....and means from you too Oak  :grin:

 

 

Guff? I know not of that word. Is it Old American? :grin:



#14
Willa

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Guff is slang for nonsense, which is what I think of people using archaic language to pray today . Robert Barr, the writer, used it in 1913.

KJV language was often used by people praying aloud to seem more spiritual when I was growing up, like the hipocrits. Some poor people refused to pray because they could not make it sound like Shakespear, and had to be taught to simply talk to God. So I still wince when I hear people do it, even though some that I really respect have done so.

#15
Omegaman

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Just curious.

 

Does anybody (apart from certain parts of Britain - Yorkshire) still speak with the gender based Middle English (thee and thou) that we find in the KJV?

It was common in a number of areas in England until the early Twentieth Century and I believe the early American colonists may have spoken like this.

I would hardly expect to find it in today's U.S.A. but if somebody knows otherwise.

 

 

What do you mean "gender based"?



#16
OakWood

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Just curious.

 

Does anybody (apart from certain parts of Britain - Yorkshire) still speak with the gender based Middle English (thee and thou) that we find in the KJV?

It was common in a number of areas in England until the early Twentieth Century and I believe the early American colonists may have spoken like this.

I would hardly expect to find it in today's U.S.A. but if somebody knows otherwise.

 

 

What do you mean "gender based"?

 

 

I think I probably misnamed that. I'm talking about the time when English had gender forms, like German, Spanish and French do today. So, just like Spanish has four different cases - el, la, los and las for the definite article (masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural and feminine plural) English only has one today (the).

There are also singular and plural forms of 'you' in Spanish and in English there used to be as well.



#17
bopeep1909

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I do not do well with that language.That is one of the reasons I do not read the KJV.

 

Doest thou not?

 

Thou shall not take guff.....and means from you too Oak  :grin:

 

 

Guff? I know not of that word. Is it Old American? :grin:

 

Probably...   :grin:






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