[bksvol-discuss] Re: Thorn? What on earth is that?

Pam,

My wife says that it does look like a lowercase p, but according to the
article I found on Wikipedia, it is pronounced Thorn.  According to the
article, Thorn was once used as a substitute for t h, and the letter y was
substituted for the funny lowercase p.  The article says that this is where
we get the "ye olde" phrase that is sometimes seen on signs.

I haven't the slightest idea what it should have been in the exert from the
book, though.

Gerald


Þ

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Þ (capital Þ, lower-case þ) or Thorn or Þorn is a letter in the
Anglo-Saxon
and
Icelandic
alphabets.
The letter originated from the
rune
?
, called "thorn" in
Anglo-Saxon
and
Thurs
("giant") in Scandinavia.

It has the sound of either a
voiceless interdental fricative,
like th (such as in the
English
word "thick") or the
voiced form
(such as in English "the"), though in Icelandic the usage is restricted to
the former, and the voiced form is represented in the letter
ð.

It was used in writing
Middle English
before the invention of the
printing press:
William Caxton,
the first printer in England, brought with him type made in
Continental Europe,
which lacked thorn,
yogh,
and
eth.
He substituted "y" in place of thorn, and in fact "y" is still often
substituted for it on
gravestones
and quaint store signs: "ye olde candies shoppe" should be read as "THe
olde?", although it is jocularly or mistakenly pronounced "yee". This was
not an
arbitrary choice of Caxton's; in some manuscripts of the earlier
1400s
(e.g.
The Boke of Margery Kempe)
the letters "y" and thorn were identical.

While very rare, it is used infrequently in some modern English word games
to replace the "th" with a single letter.

-----Original Message-----
From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Pam Quinn
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 11:02 PM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Thorn? What on earth is that?


It starts right off:

THROUGHOUT THE LONG SUMMER BEFORE MY MOTHERS TRIAL BEGAN, AND then
during those crisp days in the fall when her life was paraded publicly
before the countyþher character Lynched, her wisdom impugnedþI
overheard much more than my parents realized, and I understood more
than they would have liked.



Oh now that's funny. K1000 reads it as a "thorn" and window eyes reads
it as "lower case funny P".
JFW reads it as "thorn" too.

Pam




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