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bear by san

March 2017



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still is still moving to me

Dear my CE:

"Thou" is the subject form. "Thee" is the object form. When I have properly used "thee" as the object of a sentence, please do not correct it to "thou."

Also, thank you for the good catch on the overuse of the word "languid." And, er. Sorry about the commas. I thought I sprayed.

Love, Bear

I have decided that the 1102 words of outline counts as the second sitting in my writing today, and instead of trying to write more Chill, I will finish this damned CEM tonight.

Send tea.


It's just the tricky ones, mostly. (Three so far.) And all tricky enough that I had to stop and recast the sentence with I/me to be sure I'd gotten it right the first time.
Fair enough.
Also, s/he appears to be moderately confused about what is or is not the subjunctive. But I'm used to having that fight.
Aw, shoot. That's an argument complicated enough to only be had in person. IIRC, the couple of instances I changed away from the subjunctive were cases that were effectively "whether" questions rather than "if".
I awarded you the first one. *g* Since the second sentence actually *has* an "if" in it, I'm standing on it.

I did laugh and laugh that you queried the Lovecraft joke and let me get away with the Mark Twain one clean, however.

I'm a terrible, terrible writer.

(I'm also womanfully not asking you if you liked the book, as you will notice. *g*)
I did enjoy the book, and it was remiss of me not to say so.

Thanks for your replies!
Anything but work!
And he's a good copyeditor, and handed it back before I had the chance to do more than sneak-read a chapter or two. *pout* If he gets one of yours again, I swear I'm snitching it to read first.
Bwaaahahaha. That's just MEAN.
Sorry about the commas. I thought I sprayed.

Yeah, well I just sprayed tea all over my keyboard reading that... thanks. ;)
Bastards breed.
Verily I say unto thee that thou hast done well.
I will out myself as your cheerful (and very light-handed, I hope) copyeditor.

I of course know that "thou" is the subject and "thee" is the object, so if I got it wrong, I'll take this as an opportunity for education: It seemed to me that the cases I changed were sentences with no object (or where "thee" was not an object). I did redo the sentences in my head with I and me and so on to be sure (which is not the same thing as right, alas). Who was it? I was. It was I. It was thou. Or, simply in reply, as the wolf did: "Thou."

Am I wrong? Should "to be" take an object? Am I wrong in some other way? Am I coherent?

Hi! It's a pleasure to meet you. And this is one of the easiest copyedits I have ever gone through.

Thanks for the good catches on my word rep, etc, and the generally excellent proofreading.

(I think I caught two of my characteristic mistypings that you missed (a begin for begun, and I don't remember the other one), and I'm not actually sure it's humanly possible to catch all the goofs anybody who is as crappy a typist as I am leaves behind. 0.0. Especially since I tend to those damned homophone typos (famously: "minotaur" for "monitor") and also to punning on familiar phrases. I must be a huge pain in the butt to copyedit.)

Technically, I think what "to be" takes in a passive construction is called a subjective complement, but it's construction that's passing out of currency and now, as a result, sounds exceedingly stiff and awkward. I'm not sure I've ever actually heard someone say "It was he" in casual conversation (although I will admit, as a stodgy Yankee, I still answer queries as to my identity with 'This is she.'").

As for the "Thou," as a stand-alone form of address, if that sentence is recast in the first person, I think almost anyone would be more likely to say "Me" than "I."

(I'm a descriptivist rather than a prescriptivist when it comes to grammar--too many linguistics classes and absolutely no respect for the enforced influence of Latin on the English language (I also reserve the right to boldly split infinitives!) which is probably where we're getting into trouble.)

I think we're fifty-fifty on the subjunctive thing (I'm pretty sure the second usage you corrected was properly conditional, having checked my handy dandy copy of The Transitive Vampire), so I stetted that one, but I have to give you the first. Alas! Grammar fail!)

Ah, fair enough. I am a descriptivist to extremes that have been known to make language mavens shake their heads sadly, so your explanation has hit me in my weak spot. Normally I wouldn't touch idiomatic grammar choices, but I think I had the idea that a speaker using "thou" and "thee" would be a more formal speaker, which I admit doesn't make much sense when I think about it.

The Transitive Vampire is beloved in this house as well.
Grammar manuals at 30 paces! We'll take down anyone who shows up with that damned Chicago Manual!


It's also funny where the idioms overlap. because I will totally use "It was I" in common speech, but I will never, I don't think, say "It was he."

OTOH, I have been known to do the Dan Rather Memorial I-as-object, much to the chagrin of those fussier than I. ;-) Er, me. Er....
My speech grammar varies wildly and unconsciously depending upon who(m) I'm talking to.
Oh god yeah. Also, I use weird random Britishisms, which I suspect is influence from my first-gen Irish grandmother and immigrant Swedish grandfather. "Just a moment," is a classic.
(although I will admit, as a stodgy Yankee, I still answer queries as to my identity with 'This is she.'")

**stodgy Yankee cheering!!**
That bit made me stop and blink for a moment ... That's not what normal people say? What do they say instead? Is this one of those raised-on-NPR things?