3.23.2006

King James English

Maybe this is my own perception, or maybe it comes from being involved in youth ministry, but all those thees and thous just don’t do much for me. They seem far off, distant, surreal, solemn. I wonder if the church gave me that idea, or if it’s just the revelations of Jennifer.

It interests me, though, that the English “thou” does not correlate to reverence. Thou is obsolete, and English no longer has such a concept. Most languages, however, do. Thou was originally just the familiar form of “you.”

The French, for instance, use vous in most situations: it’s formal, respectful, basic. The familiar “you,” tu, is used only for children, family, close relationships, and deity.

Why deity? The address used everywhere else to denote the greatest intimacy is used on God? The God? The one that parted oceans and shut lions’ mouths and decimated armies and let his own son die just so we could live? This is someone I can speak to with the same affectionate ease I have towards my own sisters?

Pardon me if this isn’t new to anyone. I know I’m a bit of a word nerd, but this is cool.

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