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 Post subject: Coronation
Post #1 Posted: Sat May 06, 2023 6:02 am 
Judan

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Receiving the crown is not, as it might have been in medieval times, God-given and automatic but first the king has to swear servicing according to the law. I am a republican but at least the spirit of this coronation deemphasises monarchy and emphasises Christianity and mutual connection of king and peoples. Of course, it cannot be compared with the dry oath of a bundespresident.

I expected a pure Anglican ceremony but several minority confessions and religions participated. A rich variety of ethnic groups could be seen. Have both been so in earlier coronation ceremonies, too?

What are usage and etymology of archaic pronouns and endings, such as thou, thee, thy, thine and taketh? Which persons are, or are not, referred to by these pronouns? God father, Jesus Christ, holy spirit, the king, others?


Last edited by RobertJasiek on Sat May 06, 2023 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Coronation
Post #2 Posted: Sat May 06, 2023 8:42 am 
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The UK struggles to rid itself of such outdated ceremonial tripe

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 Post subject: Re: Coronation
Post #3 Posted: Sat May 06, 2023 8:55 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
What are usage and etymology of archaic pronouns and endings, such as thou, thee, thy, thine and taketh? Which persons are, or are not, referred to by these pronouns? God father, Jesus Christ, holy spirit, the king, others?

"thou, thee, thy, thine" is used like "they, them, their, theirs" but is 2nd person singular, as with the 2nd person plural this closely mimics old norse. This usage is pretty much same as when the Vikings ruled much of the British Isles. "Taketh" is an older version of the third person verb form "takes" (it's not that old in the sense that it's still modern English), there is also an archaic imperative/indicative form which could be used in for example subjunctive mood, if this explains why "taketh" sometimes can't be replaced by "takes" I don't know. Pretentious and incorrect usage might not have any good explanation. English speakers have been misusing such archaic words for centuries for the sole purpose to sound pompous. Maybe it doesn't matter what it means if those are the right words to speak on the occasion.

Typically you don't refer to kings by family names (at least in traditions of Germanic tribes like Goths and Vikings) or even address them directly. The late queen Elizabeth had an "interview" with the BBC with no questions being allowed, instead the interviewer would raise some topic by saying something that might interest the queen, with no questions, and the queen would then speak only if she wished to say something, if not then the "interviewer" was expected to think of something else to say. At least this is what I read on the BBC website. This might explain why the king to be is not commanded to "take" something in the ceremony but it's instead said he "taketh" it. This could be construed as a more indirect instruction, even as narration only.

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 Post subject: Re: Coronation
Post #4 Posted: Sat May 06, 2023 2:42 pm 
Oza

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Quote:
I expected a pure Anglican ceremony but several minority confessions and religions participated. A rich variety of ethnic groups could be seen. Have both been so in earlier coronation ceremonies, too?


Such variety previously, no. But ethnic groups were acknowledged in minor ways in the previous Coronation. The most famous example - much in evidence today - is Coronation chicken, which uses a sauce made from ingredients from various parts of the commonwealth (e.g. curry powder, raisins, apricots). I snacked on Coronation Chicken Chips, but slept through most of the ceremony. Embracing various faiths has long been a special characteristic of Charles. The Anglican faith itself is in retreat here, with churches either closing or becoming multi-faith centres, but new mosques and Hindu temples are being built in many places.

Quote:
What are usage and etymology of archaic pronouns and endings, such as thou, thee, thy, thine and taketh? Which persons are, or are not, referred to by these pronouns? God father, Jesus Christ, holy spirit, the king, others?


The pronoun paradigm is like I, me, my mine: thou, thee, thy, thine. (The plural of thou and thee used to be you and ye).

The verb form ends in -st (thou hast, thou takest, etc). The -th form can be seen 3rd person singular pronouns but is not much used even in contexts that use thou.

These forms are all archaic but far from obsolete. They come up mostly in prayers and ceremonies. If the use relates to God, it would usually be written Thou, etc. But it can be used of ordinary people, as in the wedding ceremony: Dost thou take this woman to be thy lawful wedded wife?" It can also be used a lot in jokey situations, partly because the th sound sounds like lisping.

Even where people don't themselves use the thou pronoun forms, they will mostly be very familiar with them from situations such as weddings, funerals, church services or daily school assemblies (which involve prayers), and they will read them in many old authors such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen who are still studied in school, and of course in many poems. This may have changed with the most recent generation, though.

In addition, thou appears in many dialects, but often in forms such as tha, 'ee and so on. As dialects disappear, so do these forms, but you can still hear them among old people, and in Yorkshire even younger people will still sometimes use them to stress their Yorkshireness. Virtually all English people know the Yorkshire song "On Ilkley Moor bar t'at" (bar his hat), and will gleefully join in with the thous and thees, but they usually sing it in English (E.g. "Where hast thou been since I saw thee?" and "Worms shall come an eat thee up") but a professional Yorkshireman would sing "Wheear wor ta bahn when Ah saw thee" (Where were you going when I saw thee), to which tehy append "Tha's bahn' to catch thy deeath o' cowd" (Thou is [=art] going to catch thy death of cold.)" Yorkshire dialect has lots of words such as bahn and laik (to play) which come from Scandinavian. Other northern dialects have, too, but from different strains (I would say gan not bahn, for example, and the line above I would have said "where wor ye gannin when Ah saw ye?").) Most people north of a line roughly from Liverpool to Hull more or less understand each others' dialects as they all, including Scots, stem from Old Northumbrian. But people south of that line, whose dialects derived from Mercian (i.e. they were Angles and Saxons as opposed to Scandinavians) either don't understand or pretend not to understand out of snobbery.

Since we are talking of kings and queens today, as well as thou and thee and dialects, it seems fitting to quote a very well-known example of a Robert Burns song:

O wert thou in the cauld blast,
On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
My plaidie to the angry airt,
I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee;
Or did Misfortune's bitter storms
Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be my bosom,
To share it a', to share it a'.

Or were I in the wildest waste,
Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
The desert were a Paradise,
If thou wert there, if thou wert there;
Or were I Monarch o' the globe,
Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign,
The brightest jewel in my Crown
Wad be my Queen, wad be my Queen.

This is set to various tunes. If you like folk music, I recommend the version by Alastair Macdonald: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPuayP8UseI

If you prefer to listen with your little finger in the air, there is a soprano-type version by Felix Mendelssohn: https://www.google.com/search?q=o+wert+ ... HG1szQVddA

I would be interested to hear how thou and thee have survived in USA, Canada, Australia etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Coronation
Post #5 Posted: Sat May 06, 2023 4:03 pm 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
I would be interested to hear how thou and thee have survived in USA, Canada, Australia etc.
I think purely as a signifier of archaic things, in the US. I say that as someone who’s enjoyed reading the King James.

I’d venture to guess most people in the US encounter the ten commands phrased as “thou shalt not…” but I think even some Christian denominations have a different form in their translations of the Bible.

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 Post subject: Re: Coronation
Post #6 Posted: Sat May 06, 2023 9:30 pm 
Judan

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Very interesting, John!

"The verb form ends in -st (thou hast, thou takest, etc). [...] If thou wert there, if thou wert there;"

I recognise similarities to Geman, which maybe is not so suprising as both languages are Germanic.

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 Post subject: Re: Coronation
Post #7 Posted: Sun May 07, 2023 9:11 am 
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Hello Robert:

I would guess you probably are aware of this, but for the benefit of other readers, the correspondence between the older English forms and modern German forms seems to be:

thou = du (nominative)
thee = dich (accusative) or dir (dative)
thy = dein (genitive, i.e., possessive adjective)
thine = dein (as possessive pronoun)

I believe that "thine" could also be used in place of "thy", just as "mine" could be used instead of "my". E.g., back then, one could say either "my eyes" or "mine eyes".

You may know of an old German love poem, I think dating from the 12th century, that begins, "Du bist mein, ich bin dein...". This translates rather nicely into archaic English as "Thou art mine, I am thine..."

Note, however, that not all English dialects follow this exactly. For example, apparently Quakers tended to use "thee" in place of "thou".

Regarding usage, I think the distinction between thou/you was similar to that of German du/Sie, or French tu/vous. That is, thou-thee etc. was used for intimates and close friends, and perhaps animals. But it was also used by parents, teachers, and elders in addressing young children, who were expected to respond with the more respectful "you" forms.

But in addressing God or Jesus, the intimate thou forms were used, e.g., in the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name..."

On the other hand, I do not think you would use "thou" in addressing a king. Even "you" might not be enough. Perhaps "Your Majesty" or something similar would be expected.

Btw, it is sometimes suggested that the decline of "thou" was a sign of greater equality arising among the English. But I rather doubt it. Instead, it has simply been replaced by other linguistic practices to indicate the social hierarchy. For example, one's first name is often reserved for family and friends. But then some teachers and employers will also address you by your first name, while still expecting to be addressed as "Mr. X" or "Sir". So not much has really changed.

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