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Thread: You your thou thine

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    You your thou thine

    Can anyone tell me which is the formal and which is the informal?

    MY seminar teacher says thou is formal, but I'm sure its informal. Thats why in "Othello", Brabantio switches from "you" to "thou" when he discovers its roderigo (is that right? i forget his name) shouting up the blacony to him. My seminar teacher says she doesn't remember that scene though, and insists on continuing to teach the class that thou is the formal one...

    I know its only a little point, but this is one thing I rememeber finding out last year, and it sticking because I found it really interesting. We were discussing a poem as well though, "O rose, thou art sick" so she was saying it didn't have a mothering tone, but it was praising, looking up, because thou isn't informal, its the informal. I'm sure I'm right though!!

    Anyone know??

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Aug 2004
    oops, just realised I posted in the wrong board, I'll re-post in the right one, and then can a mod delete this one?


  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Aug 2004
    If I remember correctly, I believe 'thou' is used formal, along with 'thine' and 'thee.' When authors used 'you' and 'your,' I think literature used it in an increasingly blunt manner, as if convicting their statement in a more direct way.

  4. #4
    Good morning, Campers! Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Czech Republic
    We were told that 'thou' is informal and 'you' formal... and the teacher's specialization's Old English, he got his PhD in it, so I'd bet my last KitKat on him being right... in the time Othello was written I suppose they used the words 'the other way around' we do today... well, we... some poets do.
    I have a plan: attack!

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