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USAGE: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Monday, November 27, 2006, 23:39
Just curious here - what's going on with the quote in the subject
line?  Why "doth" but "methinks", rather than "does" or "methinketh"?

Throughout Shakespeare, the usual 3p sg ending is -s, but -th also
shows up all over the place.  Was English of the time still
mid-transition?  Were -th and -s in free alternation, or had -th been
relegated to certain contexts, either phonetic or semantic?  (maybe
"high-falutin' speech used by royalty", or "poetry", etc...)  I note
that _Hamlet_ includes examples of both "doth" and "does", "singeth"
and "sings"...


Sai Emrys <sai@...>
Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>