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Sunday, 11 July 2021

Sunday Rest: methinks.

 In the great churning that is the English language, it is natural that most new words will be ugly. This doesn't matter much because a lot of new words are slang, and slang is largely a signifier of newness, and signs of newness, obviously, can't last long. The ugliness is soon swept away into cringing oblivion.

(This also means that old people will very often sound ridiculous using slang. Well, I must say that saves a lot of us a lot of bother.)

But there is the odd word which creeps into current language which doesn't even have the excuse of newness to recommend it. Such a one is methinks.

The purpose of using this word, I believe, is to signal intellectual profundity. All it actually signals is a blindness to the sensitivities of language so profound that the speaker can't even spot it in himself.

So, hey, I suppose even a word like methinks has its uses.

Sunday Rest: methinks. This word, Wikipedia tells me, is used at least a hundred and fifty times by Shakespeare. As two words - me thinks - its trail goes right back to Old English.

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