This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Why no one ever said "ye", and why we think they did

If you've looked at handwriting from the 1600s and 1700s, you have seen abbreviations for "th". It looks like a y, and was used in the same way that Mr. or Mrs. is, as an abbreviation, but not to be pronounced that way. I've seen the y-shaped the abbreviation for ye, yat, that sort of thing. It was always pronounced the, or that, of course. And you only saw it in handwriting. Typeset books, like the Bible, never used it. And I'm inclined to think that stern teachers slapped the wrists of students who were too lazy to write out "the" and instead wrote "ye".

And every holiday season I am reminded of why we think that people ever actually spoke like that - it comes from the reinvention of the "Ye Olde Worlde" in the 1800s.

I'm a Graphic Designer, so I understand why things are designed to look more appealing. And this completely phony type of design caught on, and it's been so long that most of us just take it for granted. But they were kidding.
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