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Thread: Question about early modern english

  1. #1
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    Dec 2014

    Question about early modern english

    So I have a real interest in English as it was spoken in the 17th century and before. But I have a few questions,

    "Perhaps you cried because you remembered your sonne, and že yeares with him that you lost. Perhaps you did smile because you imagined your sonne sailing on the wateres."

    Let's take this as a reference from what I'm writing. It's from the epilogue (Yeah I wrote the epilogue first ) I know it's not perfect It's still a work in progress. It's set in 1610-20 and to make it sound authentic I've decided to use early modern english instead of modern english. Oh yeah, and it's a letter. So here are my questions to refine this sentence

    1) In the king james version (1611) of the bible, 'the' is replaced with 'ye' (superscript) I know why this happened while printing,because the printing things didn't have the 'thorn letter.'
    But my question is- in the 17th century (say around 1620) did they use Ye even while writing by hand? If Or did they use the thorn letter followed by e? Or did they just write 'THE.' (Remember . . . this is a hand-written letter)

    2) In the bible, Jesus and James are written as IESUS and IAMES. So my question is, the king of England at the time was king james 1.
    So if I'm writing a letter to king james, would I write- Your Majestie king IAMES of Englande? Or would I just write king James?

    3) Also- Here I've purposely used different verb forms. There is 'CRIED' and 'DID SMILE'. I know only one of them can be right, but i don't know which. Which one is it?
    Also REMEMBERED/IMAGINED or DID REMEMBER/ DID IMAGINE? How does this thing work?

    4) Also PLEASE tell me about any corrections I need to make here. I appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    I can understand your fascination as I too love early modern and middle English, but I don't know much about it. Perhaps you can try Google images of early modern English manuscripts?
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

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