Ye Olde English Ain’t What DA Supposes It To Be (from the 26/27th of September)

16 down: Twice your old yacht regulars crowed about being stranded? (4-4)

Here, twice your old yacht regulars = twice ye ah = yeah-yeah = crowed about being stranded.

The direct clue is too oblique for my tastes (and the answer not funny enough for that to be excused), but more problematically the ye has been misused.

Ye is a subject pronoun for the second-person plural, the Middle English equivalent of yous or you all in contemporary times, and definitely not a possessive pronoun, which your in modern day English is.

(And the ye in ye olde expressions is also not a standard feature of ye olde English, but it is quite a strange grammatical element that is not equivalent to an article, like the for instance. Instead, it seems to act merely as a marker that harks back to ye olde days).

Anyway, another spotting has been made of that most fugitive of creatures, a DA error.

16 thoughts on “Ye Olde English Ain’t What DA Supposes It To Be (from the 26/27th of September)

  1. Ah-ha! I agree entirely and will make that the reason that I failed to get the answer. I disagree on only one point, I think it is adequately funny, having once run into Greg Mathews in a bar in Hong Kong and given him a quick “yeah-yeah”. I got the feeling he’d heard it before.

  2. Yep, would be thy or thine depending on the era because YACHT is singular.

    If it were YOUR OLD YACHTS, the Middle English translation would be the same thing, ie YOUR OLD YACHTS (assuming YACHT was a word in that era).

  3. I agree with the above. Looks like a DA error to me. Not sure I understand your last point, AS. I would have thought the choice between “thy” and “your” would be determined not by the number of yachts but by the number of owners. (However I must confess I’m no expert on Olde English).

  4. Chambers has the genitive case (your) included in its definition of “Ye.” So no, I don’t count this as a DA error.

  5. Oops, quite right there RB.

    I must have gotten confused with Spanish, where you have to say the equivalent of “your thing” and “yours things”.

  6. Ian, that’s the point — “your” is the genitive case of “ye”, just as today “your” is the genitive case of “you”.

    So you can say “you (plural) have your things”, which would be translated into Shakespearean English as “ye have your things”.

    What’s notable is that “ye” is not the older form of “your”.

  7. No, I’m saying Chambers lists the genitive case in the definition of “ye.” so “ye” can stand for “your.” it says this usage is a later development.

  8. Typical! Just when you’re (ye’re?) having a good whinge about a perceived crossword setter error, along comes someone flaunting a Chambers! I couldn’t find any support in my copy of The Shorter Oxford Dictionary for this genitive use of “ye”. It’s amazing how many crossword “tricks” can be justified only by Chambers!

    The last time I was Chambered (Chambersed?) was when I objected to the wantonly profligate use of single letter abbreviations (eg husband=h) found in British crosswords.

  9. Of course, 1D is an obvious error, an ebook can be much more than a novel; but it’s such a nice clue that it can be forgiven.

  10. EC, the reason I wouldn’t call “ye” the equivalent of an article is because I could say “I like ye olde languages” instead of “I like old languages” and no one would flinch, which means that the “ye” used in that way is not exactly an article.

    Ian, I’m still calling it an error because the “ye” in the genitive seems so rare (I can’t find anything on the internet about it). By the way, I had no idea that the Chambers was a dictionary, nor that it was the dictionary of choice for cruciverbalists.

    Read this Wikipedia article if you are benighted as I was:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chambers_Dictionary

    JG, I don’t count “modern novel” as an error for “ebook”, in much the same way as I would count “novel” for “book” as an error.

  11. The ye controversy thickens…

    My copy of the Chambers dictionary arrived in the mail today, and there’s no mention of ye in the genitive form.

    It says, in this the 11th edition of the dictionary, the following:

    ye: the second person plural (sometimes singular) pronoun; cf you. Formerly, eg in the Authorized Version of the English Bible, ye was always used as a nominative, and you as a dative or accusative; later yewas sometimes used for all these cases. [ME ye, nominative; your, gentiive; you, yow, dative and accusative].

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