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Re: Interview Questions

 
 
Kaz Kylheku
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      03-04-2009
On 2009-03-04, Han from China <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Han from China wrote:
>> Kenny and me are regulars

>
> OK, so I suck at grammar.


This ``me'' case has been valid for a few hundred years.

Methinks.
 
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Keith Thompson
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      03-04-2009
Kaz Kylheku <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
[...]
> This ``me'' case has been valid for a few hundred years.
>
> Methinks.


<OT>
Perhaps, but "methinks" isn't an example of it. The "think" in
"methinks" isn't directly related to the modern verb "to think"; it's
from a Middle English word (which is from an Old Englishmea word)
meaning "seems". The "me" means "to me". So "methinks" means "it
seems to me", not "I think".

The "think" in "methinks" and the modern verb "think" are probably
related, but to find a common ancestor you probably have to go back to
Indo-European.
</OT>

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
Nokia
"We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
-- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
 
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Martin Ambuhl
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      03-04-2009
Keith Thompson wrote:
> Kaz Kylheku <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> [...]
>> This ``me'' case has been valid for a few hundred years.
>>
>> Methinks.

>
> <OT>
> Perhaps, but "methinks" isn't an example of it. The "think" in
> "methinks" isn't directly related to the modern verb "to think"; it's
> from a Middle English word (which is from an Old Englishmea word)
> meaning "seems". The "me" means "to me". So "methinks" means "it
> seems to me", not "I think".
>
> The "think" in "methinks" and the modern verb "think" are probably
> related, but to find a common ancestor you probably have to go back to
> Indo-European.
> </OT>


<OT>
I fear that Keith is wrong. The OE form is <mē þyncþ> or <mē ðyncð>(the
thorns and eths are interchangeable here)[a]. The key is that <mē> is
_not_ the subject. It is a dative, "to me it seems". The verb means "to
appear", "to seem". The same OE verb is a direct ancestor of the modern
English word "think". You can see this in its preterite[b] form <þũhte>
or <þōhte>[b] which gives us the modern form "thought". One need not
go back to Indo-European for the common root. This is another example
of why one should stick to the topic of the newsgroup and not make
attempts to post on other matters.

[a] For the non-UTF-8-enabled, "me[macron] thyncth".
[b] My spill-chucker insists on preterit. It is obviously a US product.
[c] For same folk, "thu[macron]hte" or "tho[macron]hte"
</OT>
 
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Richard
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      03-04-2009
Martin Ambuhl <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> Keith Thompson wrote:
>> Kaz Kylheku <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>> [...]
>>> This ``me'' case has been valid for a few hundred years.
>>>
>>> Methinks.

>>
>> <OT>
>> Perhaps, but "methinks" isn't an example of it. The "think" in
>> "methinks" isn't directly related to the modern verb "to think"; it's
>> from a Middle English word (which is from an Old Englishmea word)
>> meaning "seems". The "me" means "to me". So "methinks" means "it
>> seems to me", not "I think".
>>
>> The "think" in "methinks" and the modern verb "think" are probably
>> related, but to find a common ancestor you probably have to go back to
>> Indo-European.
>> </OT>

>
> <OT>
> I fear that Keith is wrong. The OE form is <mē þyncþ> or <mē
> ðyncð>(the thorns and eths are interchangeable here)[a]. The key is
> that <mē> is _not_ the subject. It is a dative, "to me it seems". The
> verb means "to appear", "to seem". The same OE verb is a direct
> ancestor of the modern English word "think". You can see this in its
> preterite[b] form <þũhte> or <þōhte>[b] which gives us the modern
> form "thought". One need not go back to Indo-European for the common
> root. This is another example of why one should stick to the topic of
> the newsgroup and not make attempts to post on other matters.
>
> [a] For the non-UTF-8-enabled, "me[macron] thyncth".
> [b] My spill-chucker insists on preterit. It is obviously a US product.
> [c] For same folk, "thu[macron]hte" or "tho[macron]hte"
> </OT>


Please leave out the pretentious OT tags. It's every, very silly.

 
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Stephen Sprunk
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      03-04-2009
Martin Ambuhl wrote:
> Keith Thompson wrote:
>> Kaz Kylheku <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>> [...]
>>> This ``me'' case has been valid for a few hundred years.
>>>
>>> Methinks.

>>
>> <OT>
>> Perhaps, but "methinks" isn't an example of it. The "think" in
>> "methinks" isn't directly related to the modern verb "to think"; it's
>> from a Middle English word (which is from an Old Englishmea word)
>> meaning "seems". The "me" means "to me". So "methinks" means "it
>> seems to me", not "I think".
>>
>> The "think" in "methinks" and the modern verb "think" are probably
>> related, but to find a common ancestor you probably have to go back to
>> Indo-European.
>> </OT>

>
> <OT>
> I fear that Keith is wrong. The OE form is <mē þyncþ> or <mē ðyncð>(the
> thorns and eths are interchangeable here)[a]. The key is that <mē> is
> _not_ the subject. It is a dative, "to me it seems". The verb means "to
> appear", "to seem". The same OE verb is a direct ancestor of the modern
> English word "think". You can see this in its preterite[b] form <þũhte>
> or <þōhte>[b] which gives us the modern form "thought". One need not
> go back to Indo-European for the common root. This is another example
> of why one should stick to the topic of the newsgroup and not make
> attempts to post on other matters.
>
> [a] For the non-UTF-8-enabled, "me[macron] thyncth".
> [b] My spill-chucker insists on preterit. It is obviously a US product.
> [c] For same folk, "thu[macron]hte" or "tho[macron]hte"


For those not familiar with cases or the more esoteric tenses of verbs
(common for English-only speakers), an easier-to-understand explanation:

In Romance languages (e.g. French, which had a strong influence on
English grammar), one places the object pronoun between the subject and
the verb, not after the verb. For instance, "I see him" is written as
"I him see". One can also omit the subject if it can be deduced from
the conjugation of the verb, giving "him see".

"Methinks" appears to be a vestige of this structure; "me" is the object
of "thinks", not the subject, making the meaning "[it] thinks [to] me".
And, as explained above, that "thinks" is now "seems", giving today's
common phrase "it seems to me".

This has absolutely nothing to do with "Kenny and me are regulars",
which is an example of using the first-person object pronoun "me" when
one should have used the subject pronoun "I".

> </OT>


S

--
Stephen Sprunk "Stupid people surround themselves with smart
CCIE #3723 people. Smart people surround themselves with
K5SSS smart people who disagree with them." --Isaac Jaffe
 
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Richard Tobin
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      03-04-2009
In article <golbtq$js9$(E-Mail Removed)>,
Martin Ambuhl <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I fear that Keith is wrong. The OE form is <mē þyncþ> or <mē ðyncð>(the
>thorns and eths are interchangeable here)[a]. The key is that <mē> is
>_not_ the subject. It is a dative, "to me it seems". The verb means "to
>appear", "to seem". The same OE verb is a direct ancestor of the modern
>English word "think".


This does not seem to be the view of the OED, which traces the modern
word "think" from OE {th}{ehook}nc(e)an. It suggests that

The original meaning may thus have been `to cause (something) to seem
or appear (to oneself)'. In ME., {th}enk (as was normal with the
groups -eng, -enk) became {th}ink, with the result of confusing this
in the present stem with the prec. vb., of which the pa. tense
{th}{uacute}hte was also from 13th c. written {th}oughte, thought(e,
so that the forms of the two verbs became completely identical. The
practical equivalence of sense between me thinks, him thought, etc.,
and I think, he thought, etc., also contributed to this result [...]

[The "prec. vb." referred to is the obsolete verb "think" meaning
"to seem" which appears in "methinks".]

That is, the OE word in "methinks" is not a direct ancestor of "think"
but a (presumably always related) word that became confused with it
and affected its form.

-- Richard
--
Please remember to mention me / in tapes you leave behind.
 
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Rafael
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-06-2009
Keith Thompson escreveu:
> Kaz Kylheku <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> [...]
>> This ``me'' case has been valid for a few hundred years.
>>
>> Methinks.

>
> <OT>
> Perhaps, but "methinks" isn't an example of it. The "think" in
> "methinks" isn't directly related to the modern verb "to think"; it's
> from a Middle English word (which is from an Old Englishmea word)
> meaning "seems". The "me" means "to me". So "methinks" means "it
> seems to me", not "I think".
>
> The "think" in "methinks" and the modern verb "think" are probably
> related, but to find a common ancestor you probably have to go back to
> Indo-European.
> </OT>
>

As the standard says.
 
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Richard Bos
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      03-06-2009
Stephen Sprunk <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In Romance languages (e.g. French, which had a strong influence on
> English grammar),


Oh? Where? On the vocabulary, yes, but the grammar of English is still
predominantly Germanic.

> one places the object pronoun between the subject and
> the verb, not after the verb. For instance, "I see him" is written as
> "I him see". One can also omit the subject if it can be deduced from
> the conjugation of the verb, giving "him see".
>
> "Methinks" appears to be a vestige of this structure; "me" is the object
> of "thinks", not the subject, making the meaning "[it] thinks [to] me".
> And, as explained above, that "thinks" is now "seems", giving today's
> common phrase "it seems to me".


For example, the nearest Dutch equivalent, which is highly unlikely to
be derived from French but like the rest of Dutch comes from the same
Low-West-Germanic root as Saxon, is "me ducht" - a direct equivalent of
*"me thought".

Richard
 
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