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18 January 2014 @ 02:23 pm
words, words, &c.  
I'm having an enjoyable time poking around in a book I...sort of accidentally bought while finishing up my Christmas shopping, Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain, by the prolific David Crystal, this time in conjunction with Hilary Crystal (Oxford UP, 2013). And being me, of course I was greatly entertained by this bit of biography on Robert Cawdrey, compiler of English's first dictionary, A Table Alphabeticall (1604). Cawdrey was a rector in the 1570s, but relieved of his post for being a nonconformist:
Complaints were made. In 1576 he was charged with not reading the homilies and injunctions in church. A year later, the churchwardens complained to the Bishop of Peterborough that Cawdrey 'dothe not his service in due time as he ought to doo'. In 1578 he conducted the wedding of a fellow clergyman without the Bishop's permission, refused to submit himself for correction, and was suspended from his duties for three months. He promised to behave, but in 1586 was summoned before the Court of High Commission in London, charged with a range of offences, such as not wearing a surplice, using 'you' when he should have used 'thou', and saying in a lecture that the Book of Common Prayer was 'a vile book, fie on it'. The commissioners several times asked him to change his mind, but he repeatedly refused. Suspension from his ministry followed. (220-1, my emphasis)

It's a shame I didn't know this when we discussed Cawdrey during the History of English class I taught for last year! Pronouns are serious business, kids.
 
 
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
a_t_raina_t_rain on January 18th, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC)
Now I'm dying to know WHO he was supposed to have addressed as "thou." God? Some disreputable parishioner who he was supposed to be putting in their place?
tempestsarekind: cheveril glovetempestsarekind on January 20th, 2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
I know! I can easily imagine how he might get himself into trouble in the opposite direction, but this seems like he got into trouble for being too courteous. :)
litlover12: MST3K4litlover12 on January 18th, 2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
Behold the power of pronouns!
tempestsarekind: don't get clever in latin! [donna]tempestsarekind on January 20th, 2014 09:37 pm (UTC)
Indeed!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )