I - io - yo - je - eg - ik - ich - etc

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I - io - yo - je - eg - ik - ich - etc

Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-08-18, 1:54

Hello :)

I've been wondering about this for years and no-one of my past English teachers could give me answers on this.
Why is the english personal pronoun I always capitalised?
I don't understand how someone can get such an idea ;)
I know no other language that always capitalises their first personal pronoun sgl. :shock:

It is an English peculiarity! :lol:


Has any of your English teachers been able to explicate this to you?


Thanks and sorry for the stupid question (but I cant get sleep atm) ;)

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Postby Stan » 2005-08-18, 2:08

if I was President,
I'd get elected on Friday
assassinated on Saturday
buried on Sunday

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Postby Stan » 2005-08-18, 2:11

I : 12c. shortening of O.E. ic, first person sing. nom. pronoun, from P.Gmc. *ekan (cf. O.Fris. ik, O.N. ek, Norw. eg, Dan. jeg, O.H.G. ih, Ger. ich, Goth. ik), from PIE *ego(m) (cf. Skt. aham, Hitt. uk, L. ego, Gk. ego, Rus. ja). Reduced to i by 1137 in northern England, it began to be capitalized c.1250 to mark it as a distinct word and avoid misreading in handwritten manuscripts. […] The dot on the "small" letter -i- began to appear in 11c. L. manuscripts, to distinguish the letter from the stroke of another letter (such as -m- or -n-). Originally a diacritic, it was reduced to a dot with the introduction of Roman type fonts. […]
if I was President,

I'd get elected on Friday

assassinated on Saturday

buried on Sunday

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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-08-18, 11:24

Thanks, stancel :)

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Postby MikeL » 2005-08-19, 1:40

Teachers of Italian, Spanish and German often make the point that these languages capitalize the 2nd or 3rd person pronouns [as a mark of respect], while English alone capitalizes the 1st person pronoun, clearly indicating that English speakers are egotistical and lacking in respect and humility. Of course this is just nonsense, but it gets the students thinking...

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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-08-19, 1:54

But English does also capitalise the 3rd person pronoun sometimes. When referring to God. One always capitalises the He. And I am sure, if it would come to a direct conversation "face-to-face" with God, (Happens not that often, agreed) the You would be capitalised when writing that dialogue down!


:)

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-08-19, 2:27

Capitalising pronouns related to God (and/or Jesus) is very common in many languages, especially (but not only, even if some people here have a problem with that) in religious contexts.
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Postby Kirk » 2005-08-19, 2:43

yabba wrote:But English does also capitalise the 3rd person pronoun sometimes. When referring to God. One always capitalises the He. And I am sure, if it would come to a direct conversation "face-to-face" with God, (Happens not that often, agreed) the You would be capitalised when writing that dialogue down!


:)


Hehe--well actually current practice for written English has been to move away from that trend, even in religious texts. All the Bibles I've ever had haven't capitalized "he/him/his" even when referring to God/Jesus. What's interesting is that alphabets or writing systems which don't have lower and upper-case letters don't ever even deal with this issue. I remember one guy a couple years ago who said it would disrespectful to not capitalize God (and he was referring to chatting, of all things, where nearly everything isn't capitalized), which was interesting considering that besides English he also he speaks Chinese (he's Chinese-American), and as far as I know Chinese doesn't have lower or upper-case. Also, Korean, which is an alphabet, doesn't have upper and lower cases yet no one argues it's disrespectful that God's name is the same height as every other letter :) Just stylistics, I guess.
Image
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-08-19, 2:59

Wow, I didn't know about this trend, yet. Interesting.
To the lower- and upper cases: I've thought about this before, too, and considering that the early Latin alphabet did not distinguish between lower and uper cases either it couldn't be that an effort to simply put that away again - thought I...
It all sounded and seemed nice in imagination, but then... I TRIED WRITING LIKE THE ROMANS DID, and I then knew writing like Romans looks too aggressive, so the only way could be to write all lower case. But somehow I think the language would lose something if we'd do this... Well, the situation is even far more complex in German... :?


If I wrote a bible I'd still capitalise the He's and Him's

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Postby Kirk » 2005-08-19, 3:04

yabba wrote:Wow, I didn't know about this trend, yet. Interesting.
To the lower- and upper cases: I've thought about this before, too, and considering that the early Latin alphabet did not distinguish between lower and uper cases either it couldn't be that an effort to simply put that away again - thought I...
It all sounded and seemed nice in imagination, but then... I TRIED WRITING LIKE THE ROMANS DID, and I then knew writing like Romans looks too aggressive, so the only way could be to write all lower case.


Yeah it looks too aggressive to our modern eyes and expectations about how the Roman alphabet should be written.

yabba wrote:But somehow I think the language would lose something if we'd do this... Well, the situation is even far more complex in German... :?


Yes, quite true!


yabba wrote:If I wrote a bible I'd still capitalise the He's and Him's


Altho interestingly you didn't capitalize "Bible" which is always capitalized, even if you don't capitalize "he/him/his" in a religious context ;)
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'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-08-19, 3:05

If we're to be strict when imitating the old Romans, ITMIGHTBEEVENBETTERTODOSOMETHINGLIKETHISINSTEAD, OR·MAYBE·EVEN·LIKE·THIS. :) And even more exotic, going left to right till the end of the line, then changing from right to left in the next line, and so on, though this would be getting too archaic, hehe.

Note: two interesting articles—

1. Roman cursive
2. Roman square capitals
Last edited by Psi-Lord on 2005-08-19, 3:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-08-19, 3:10

svenska84 wrote:
yabba wrote:If I wrote a bible I'd still capitalise the He's and Him's


Altho interestingly you didn't capitalize "Bible" which is always capitalized, even if you don't capitalize "he/him/his" in a religious context ;)


Waaaaaaahhhh, my mistake, my mistake ! :lol: :lol:

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Postby Kirk » 2005-08-19, 3:14

yabba wrote:
svenska84 wrote:
yabba wrote:If I wrote a bible I'd still capitalise the He's and Him's


Altho interestingly you didn't capitalize "Bible" which is always capitalized, even if you don't capitalize "he/him/his" in a religious context ;)


Waaaaaaahhhh, my mistake, my mistake ! :lol: :lol:


Hehe I just found that amusingly ironic ;)
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'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-08-19, 3:15

The only solution is we have to invent a new medium case system for the Latin alphabet! So that our eyes will from the beginning on being used to just read one type of cases throughout the sentence!

Any creative Unilangers ready for this? 8)

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Postby Kirk » 2005-08-19, 3:16

yabba wrote:The only solution is we have to invent a new medium case system for the Latin alphabet! So that our eyes will from the beginning on being used to just read one type of cases throughout the sentence!

Any creative Unilangers ready for this? 8)


Haha--or how about 10 different height levels for the letters, to represent different volumes of speech?

:D

And, while we're at 10, why not 100?
Image
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-08-19, 3:17

svenska84 wrote:Hehe I just found that amusingly ironic ;)


:) Yes, I would have, too ... if I had realised..... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-08-19, 3:18

svenska84 wrote:
yabba wrote:The only solution is we have to invent a new medium case system for the Latin alphabet! So that our eyes will from the beginning on being used to just read one type of cases throughout the sentence!

Any creative Unilangers ready for this? 8)


Haha--or how about 10 different height levels for the letters, to represent different volumes of speech?

:D

And, while we're at 10, why not 100?


LOL. Amazing idea, svenska :D
I see this is gonna be GREAT!

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-08-19, 3:22

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Postby Fenek » 2005-08-28, 12:30

MikeL wrote:while English alone capitalizes the 1st person pronoun


I also capitalize the 2nd person pronoun, as U can see ;)
I'd appreciate any corrections to my messages!
Vi sarò molto grato per ogni correzione!
Zelo vam bom hvaležen za popravke!
Aş fi recunoscător pentru orice corectare!
Bio bih vam veoma zahvalan na ispravkama!

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Postby Stan » 2005-08-28, 13:25

I'm an atheist and I don't capitalize "he/him/his" when referring to God. I'll capitalize "God" though because its used as a proper name.
if I was President,

I'd get elected on Friday

assassinated on Saturday

buried on Sunday


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