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Thread: I

  1. Junior Member
    English Teacher
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    Question I

    Dear teachers!

    I wonder if any of you could explain why the personal pronoun "I" is always written with a capital letter! You See, one of my students asked me the question and I just didn't know the answer! I made a joke of it, but I really would like to know the answer.
    Could anyone , please help?

    Thanks a lot!
    Kind regards


  2. Soup's Avatar
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    Re: I

    Hello Seagull

    There are several opinions on this. Here's the one that sounds the most plausible to me:

    ... as some have suggested, those 14th century scribes just didn't like the look of that puny little "i" (often without even a dot capping it) all by its lonesome out there on the page, so they used capitalization as a grammatical marker to signify that the letter was a word, and an important kind of word. (We don't need to speculate on the egotism of the English. It's enough to acknowledge the grammatical importance of the nominative singular pronoun as compared to, say, the indefinite article 'a'.) Here, the scribes would be employing another use of orthography, to mark a word class in a special circumstance.

    Well, we'll have to wait until someone turns up more manuscript evidence.

    ~Chuck Bigelow

    Source LINGUIST List 9.253: Pronoun "I" again


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