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PRONOUNS, PERSONAL. Anomalies, explanation of

Personal, Irregularities of (omission of, insertion of, see Relative and Ellipses). The inflections of Personal Pronouns are frequently neglected or misused. It is perhaps impossible to trace a law in these irregularities. Sometimes, however, euphony and emphasis may have successfully contended against grammar. This may explain I in "and I," "but I," frequently used for me. "'Tween you and I" seems to have been a regular Elizabethan idiom. The sound of d and t before me was avoided. For reasons of euphony also the ponderous thou is often ungrammatically replaced by thee, or inconsistently by you. This is particularly the case in questions and requests, where, the pronoun being especially unemphatic, thou is especially objectionable. To this day many of the Friends use thee invariably for thou, and in the Midland and North of England we have "wilta?" for "wilt thou?" Compare E. E. "wiltow?" for "wilt thou?" "pinkestow?" for "thinkest thou?" and similarly, in Shakespeare, thou is often omitted after a questioning verb. Again, since he and she could be used (see below) for "man" and "woman," there was the less harshness in using he for him and she for her. Where an objective pronoun is immediately followed by a finite verb, it is sometimes treated as the subject, as below, "no man like he doth grieve."

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