YOUR GUIDE TO “”“”“”“”OLD”“”“”“”” ENGLISH*
- the word “thou” is a subject pronoun; you only use it when representing the subject of a sentence (the subject of a sentence is the noun that is doing the verbing; for example, in “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”, “the quick brown fox” is doing the jumping, and is the subject)
- the word “thee” is an object pronoun; you only use it when representing the object of a sentence (the object of a sentence is a noun that is not doing the verbing; for example, in “the space squid slithered through the inky darkness”, “the inky darkness” is not doing the slithering, and would therefore receive an object pronoun)
- so, saying “i like thou a lot” would be wrong, because “thou” is a subject pronoun; saying “i like thee” would be right, because “thee” is an object pronoun
- if you ever get confused, think about the words “he” and “him”; “he” is subject, “him” is object
- if you don’t know whether to say “thou” or “thee”, replace it in your mind with “he” or “him”. if the word “he” sounds better, go with “thou”; if the word “thee” sounds better, go with “him”.
- for example: say you want to say “i want to give you a gift” in “old” english, but don’t know whether to say “i want to give thou a gift” or “i want to give thee a gift”. would you say “i want to give he a gift”, or “i want to give him a gift”? “him”, of course! so say “i want to give thee a gift.”
- additionally! if the word “thou” is the subject of your sentence, you need a whole new set of ways to say your verbs! it’s not “thou has”, but “thou hast”; not “thou can”, but “thou canst”; not “thou do not know thou is beautiful” but “thou dost not know thou art beautiful”.
- (baby, thou light’st up my world like nobody else. the way that thou flipp’st thy hair has me overwhelmed. but when thou smil’st at the ground it ain’t hard to tell; thou dost not know-oh-oh, thou knowest not thy beau-uty. but that’s what makes thee beautiful. if we’re going for the right rhythm & cadence.)
- the word “thy” is possessive. it’s like “his” or “my” or “their”. i never really see anyone have trouble with the word “thy” so, y’know, carry on.
*shakespearean english is not old english. it’s not even close, really. you want to see old english? take a look at beowulf in its original language, i’ll wait.**
**no, shakespearean english is not “middle” english, either. you want to see middle english, go take a look at the canterbury tales in their original language, with original spelling.***
***yes, i realize that back in chaucer’s day the spelling of any given word basically came down to “what if i threw a dart at a poster full of letters and picked one.” the point remains that middle english was germanic as fuck, with some french sort of stuffed in with a crowbar. that shit ain’t shakespeare.