Archaic English

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Kitty
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Archaic English

Post by Kitty »

I'm reading Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge, and the writer keeps saying "courtesy" instead of curtsy. Have you ever heard or seen anything else seemingly strange like that?
You trying to tell me you didn't hear that shriek? That was something trying to get out of its premature grave, and I don't want to be here when it does. - Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

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donnie
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Re: Archaic English

Post by donnie »

Curtsy sounds kind of like a clipped pronunciation of courtesy, so I wondered if that's where it came from. I looked up the etymology of it here in my Mac dictionary. It says: "early 16th century: variant of courtesy. Both forms were used to denote the expression of respect or courtesy by a gesture, especially in phrases such as do courtesy, make courtesy, and from this arose the current use (late 16th century)

So apparently, it did once mean the same as courtesy. I'm not sure why this writer would be using it here, though.

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Kitty
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Re: Archaic English

Post by Kitty »

donnie wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 9:09 pm
So apparently, it did once mean the same as courtesy. I'm not sure why this writer would be using it here, though.
What's really funny about the example that prompted me to write this post is I got totally the wrong idea when I first read the sentence. I'll post the whole paragraph here for context.

"By this time the boys had reached the “beautiful room with three beds in it.” A dumpy little maiden with long earrings met them at the doorway, dropped them a courtesy, and passed out. She carried a long-handled thing that resembled a frying pan with a cover.
“I am glad to see that,” said Van Mounen to Ben.
“What?”
“Why, the warming pan. It’s full of hot ashes; she’s been heating our beds.”
“Oh, a warming pan, eh! Much obliged to her, I’m sure,” said Ben, too sleepy to make any further comment."

It took me a few times of reading that section to realize... She did not "pass out" as in "fall to the floor unconscious". She passed out, as in left the room. That would explain why the boys were unconcerned about her state. :lol: I gave myself a little giggle. Maybe I am just tired.

Another note -- I realize that the copy I have and the copy on gutenburg spell it courtesy/curtsy, meaning different versions may spell it differently. My copy is from '25.
You trying to tell me you didn't hear that shriek? That was something trying to get out of its premature grave, and I don't want to be here when it does. - Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

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donnie
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Re: Archaic English

Post by donnie »

:lol:

You sound like you’ve been taking misinterpretation lessons from me. ;)

There was a book on my grandparents’ shelf called Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates that I used to think about reading, but never did. Is this the same book? And are you going to do a review of this one?

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Kitty
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Re: Archaic English

Post by Kitty »

donnie wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 9:49 pm
:lol:

You sound like you’ve been taking misinterpretation lessons from me. ;)

There was a book on my grandparents’ shelf called Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates that I used to think about reading, but never did. Is this the same book? And are you going to do a review of this one?
:lol:

I'll have to give an affirmative on both of your questions! Since going back to work, my rate of reading has slowed, but I'm more than halfway through, now. It shouldn't be too much longer 'til it's up.
You trying to tell me you didn't hear that shriek? That was something trying to get out of its premature grave, and I don't want to be here when it does. - Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

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