Sunday, May 18, 2014

Why do people say, "methinks"?

That is a real question. Why do people in comments revert to Shakespeare-speak for a modern comment on a modern issue, where "I think" will do? Why avoid the phrase, "I think"? I find it so unnatural, so irritating that I drop reading instantly and with prejudice that is extreme move to the next comment. At that point nothing the person thinks could possibly be worth finishing. And yet it appears often and it is stilted stupid and weird. Nothing at all against stilted stupid and weird locutions, I like them in fact, but that one reversion to  early modern English bugs me to no end. It seems to have a single source, "the lady doth protest too much methinks." I think.

Is it distancing or what?

I'm developing an opinion people are hesitant to say "I think" and the reason I think that is because I hear it in hesitation constantly, Ah ah ah I think.  And worse, now that I'm sensitized I find it annoying, extremely so, because I realize I'm listening or reading someone unsure of their opinion, or wants listeners to sense uncertainty or soften whatever it is as opinion and I don't like that.

Stammering is becoming unbearable especially when people are drawn specifically to express their opinion on any given issue. Not so much in real life, but certainly when professionals are called upon specifically to express their opinions, out with it and stop stuttering.

I heard one time the word "barbarian" comes from the way English speakers sound to non-English speakers, "bar bar bar bar bar." It is actually a Greek etymology but the same thing. Yesterday I heard a professional opinion maker put the barbarian smack onto his opinion by starting out stammering, "Are are are are are these things going to ...."  *click* my ears cannot tolerate another moment. I'm actually considering canceling cable.

39 comments:

Rabel said...

That makes me thinks of this I thinks.

bagoh20 said...

Methinks it a tad ironic that Chip Ahoy would ask why people might be a little quirky?

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

They're just being cute when they say that.

So many people argue over so many things nowadays that it's easier to just be cute when introducing a contradictory thought.

Sixty Grit said...

Due to the decline in literacy I frequently see that written "me thinks". That be wrong.

ndspinelli said...

Me thinks we be goin' to see my provation offcer to ax him questions 'bout my case.

ricpic said...

I'm one a' those me thinks guys so you can ignore all my future comments, Chippaholic. Oh, you already do? Nevermind.

Synova said...

I haven't noticed "methinks" but I've got a list of extremely irritating words that I have noticed.

The first word on my list is "ilk."

ricpic said...

Ya see, I fell right into Sixty's trap and wrote methinks wrong. I call it Sixty's trap because HE wrote it me thinks while telling us that indicates duncitude (a new word!) and being a dunce methinks well if Sixty spells it that way that must be the correct way to spell it even though he was actually say...............

Rabel said...

Speaking of thinking, I've been meditating about this New York Times thing and I think I've got it all figured out.

The clues are here and here.

Ya see, this Jill person has dropped about 50 pounds in the last couple of years and, man, just look at those delts. She's older than me and I know for a fact that at that age you don't get sculpted like that unless you're living in the gym or you're getting a little help. And she ain't living in no gym.

That's right - roid rage. Sure we read about the aggression and the bitchiness but I'll bet there are stories we didn't hear about head-butting the copy boys and crotch-grabbing the secretaries. You know it's true, and I'll
guarandamntee you that right now her clitoris is the size of a ripe summer strawberry. Just ask Maureen.

Anyhow, this guy, whatshisname, Punchy Schnellenberger, the semi-Jew who owns the place, he's smart, cause he's semi-Jewish, and he knows all about the roids, cause he's a Yankees fan, so he puts 2 and 2 together and calls Jilly into the office and he says, "You gotta pee in a cup" and Jilly says, "Fuck you", and Punchy says, "You're fired", and then Jilly lifted a leg and pissed on Punchy's desk and walked out with her gnomish head held high, and bada-boom bada-bing it's a done deal, New York style.

This is just a working theory right now, but it's pretty solid, methinks.

Synova said...

And I'm going to defend the African-American linguistic "be". As far as I can tell it means something different in usage than what we'd consider proper forms of be verbs.

I wish I remembered the whole thing, but I saw a message written out on the back window of a van to the tune of, I've endured and overcome this thing and that thing and at the end of it all have learned this (that doesn't remotely resemble the wording or the specifics which were specific) and then ended, "B*tches Be."

And I don't think you can even say that in English. It's more like a Hebrew "I Am."

...and since English never met a bit of grammar that it didn't want to appropriate...

Chip S. said...

Poetic license is the only possible excuse. As in, "methinks Bryan Singer likes twinks."

Lem said...

methinks I think is a way to say I think while avoiding making an implicit accusation... if that makes any sense. methinks.

Leland said...

I blame Jar Jar Binks and the stupidity of Lucas for creating him.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

The thing that really got me was, when Ginzo was just sitting there, after giving Peggy his nipple/valve, he was thoroughly self-pacified, at peace.

I greatly admired that, even though he's a fictional character.

It felt real.

Lem said...

Isn't "barbarian" a person with a distinguished barba ;)

Lem said...

methinks Jill is posing with those boxing globes in that instagram.

Lem said...

The Bearded Pirate.

Trooper York said...

Methinks you mean the bearded clam.

Trooper York said...

But I understand that it has been a while Lem. No sweat brother.

Lem said...

Stammering is becoming unbearable especially when people are drawn specifically to express their opinion on any given issue.

I heard somewhere that it represented something when Henry Fonda and Gary Cooper did it. I don't remember quite what.

Maybe it was something about the un-sureness of becoming. That we are always becoming the United States, that we are never done. So, maybe that's why some people stammer.

Lem said...

One can never say anything with any certainty anymore.

edutcher said...

I'm surprised anybody says it.

I thought William Ayers and the rest of the Common Core crowd had dumbed down all of that out of us.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Stammering is becoming unbearable especially when people are drawn specifically to express their opinion on any given issue.

My father had a stammer that was quite pronounced when he was a child. He managed to master it. However, it does come back when he is agitated or emotional over something. When we are debating (he is liberal, I'm not) or if he has had more than a few beers.

I don't hold a stammer against anyone because it might not be something that they can control. I do get extremely irritated by all of the Ums Uhs and long pauses that Obama has in his speaking, ESPECIALLY, since it was hammered into our heads what a wonderful, masterful, intelligent speaker he is.

When one of those talking heads, pundits, utter that entirely banal and overused phrase: "at the end of the day"......I want to scream and generally discount everything else they have said. Even guys on my own 'side'. If you can't be more original than that.....shut UP.

ampersand said...

Me thinks,therefore me am.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh man, this is going to be like mentioning not liking to be crowded unnecessarily. I'll clear a space at a table and the waiter goes straight to my cleared space, crowding things around me. It guarantees people tossing crap into my personal area and encroaching purposefully to get a rise. 'Cause it's funny.

Chip Ahoy said...

And I'm all for quirky. I said so. I like it. But come on, do other ones too. Fill it out with full on quirk.

Christy said...

I find methinks whimsical and fun.

Unknown said...

Rabel @5:00
methinkslolz.

Amartel said...

I think "methinks" sounds both arch and corny like your grandma trying to be cool while pointing out your sins.

rcommal said...

Jesus Christ, Chip Ahoy, why do you employ the writing and speaking tics [ticks] that you exhibit? (And, God knows, the literal lengths that you employ and to which you will go in the writing of your posts.) You worry about "methinks"? Someone uses "methinks" and you just go all "ain't reading this" about it?

You've become a very narrow SOB (in both senses) if that's the sort of thing that makes you stop short and stop reading. "Methinks" is something that just automatically would make you stop reading, full stop?

Oh, puh-leeze. C'mon. If you're telling the truth, I say: Get over your own self. If you're not, I say: It's time for you to stop spoofin'.

Which is it?

I hope it's the latter.

rcommal said...

I think "methinks" sounds both arch and corny like your grandma trying to be cool while pointing out your sins.

Heh! And LOL!

Who the f* uses words such as "arch" and "corny" these days? (I am using your standard, deliberately, for the record and for a purpose, by the way: let me clear about that.)

Methinks you are hoisted on ye olde petard--just like Chip Ahoy.

So, what is it that you're really on about?

rcommal said...

One can never say anything with any certainty anymore.

Oh, bullshit.

rcommal said...

Eh, whatever.

All that said, I leave you with a verse:

Thanks for that lesson--It will teach
To after-warriors more
Than high Philosophy can preach,
And vainly preach'd before.
That spell upon the minds of men
Breaks never to unite again,
That led them to adore
Those Pagod things of sabre sway
With fronts of brass, and feet of clay.

rcommal said...

And a song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHFXEPYU0FQ

rcommal said...

Hyperlink for those who need such things:

And a song.

rcommal said...

Never say I don't make things easy for ya, after all.

rcommal said...

More fun, for you fun-lovers, you.

Chip S. said...

You misspelled f***.

rcommal said...

No, I did not.

: )