Speak Less than Thou Knowest

28 11 2017

I try not to be pedantic, but this post (below) claiming to answer the question What is the correct usage of “thy”and “thou”?, really got up my nose. It is just so pretentious and so likely to further spread the culture of self-satisfied ignorance that is affecting – infecting – the world.

In King Lear (Act I, Scene IV), Shakespeare writes “Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest.” Less, not more – and that would be good advice for many of the self-proclaimed experts that infest the internet. When English verbs are conjugated, THOU (Second Person Singular) is followed by the (e)st ending, thou showest, thou knowest. The (e)th ending goes with the Third Person Singular (HE, SHE, IT) – he showeth, he knoweth. Other examples are thou hast/he hath, thou dost/he doth. And from Shakespeare, God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another, and To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

All of which leads us to: THOU ASKEST (or HE/SHE ASKETH) A GOOD QUESTION – not the illiterate absurdity reproduced below.