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Old April 28 2013, 05:05 AM   #102
Kestrel
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Re: Grammar Nazi Thread: Smooshing Words Together

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post
Also used among some religious sects here in the States. And I wouldn't say they had more meaning so much as a slightly different meaning, being singular instead of plural.
Ritualistic use isn't the same as common use, though. Otherwise we could say that modern English still uses the noun->verb word order because people recite "With this ring I thee wed" at weddings. No one says, "I you kiss." Unless you're referring to more isolated sects like the Amish -- do they use those words in everyday language?
Right, the Amish is who I was thinking of (and other similar groups like Old Order Mennonites and possibly Hutterites) that still use those words in common language. There's also some ritualistic-yet-everyday use (if that makes sense) among a certain segment of Quakers I know.

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
As to the meaning, a collective noun is a different meaning to a singular noun. Modern Standard English, with the exception of the regional Scots and Northern English noted, does not have a distinct word for plural 'you', as 'ye' once was. As I understand it, thee, thy, thou, etcetera, were also context-specific, in the same way that the use of vous and tu in French connote formality, or watishi, atashi, boku in Japanese (although those change depending on the speaker and not who is being spoken to). There is one exception I know of, which is the American southern plural you: y'all and all y'all. I'd be fascinated to learn of more exceptions, though!
Well, "you" used to be the distinct word for plural "you" alongside "ye." Thee, thou, thy, etc. are all second-person singular , so unless I'm totally mistaken it's more that we lost a singular "you" and simply expanded the upper-class/formal and plural second-person pronoun to the singular and lower-class/informal as well. I've never been entirely clear on the thee/thou/thy rules, but yeah there's particular ways they were used as I understand.

Also... gahhhhhhh "all y'all".... gahhhhh. "Y'all" is perfectly good! And it's spelled "ain't," not "ai'nt"!!!! WARRRGARRBBBLLLLE /rant

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