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    #1

    methinks, misdo

    Recently, I often encounter the word 'methinks' on various fora (btw, fora or forums?) Before, methought it was an archaic word and, after checking in the dictionary, it appears to be such. So how archaic is it? When you read it, how do you feel about the writer? What's the writer's intention?

    Another word that I have in mind is 'misdo', meaning 'err', 'do wrong' (maybe there are some other meanings - wanted to be precise). How much archaic is this one? I'm not sure if I saw it anywhere in modern speech or writing, I just like the word :) Is it totally obsolete or could I use it as those who use 'methinks' (whatever way it is)?
    Last edited by mmasny; 21-Jan-2010 at 00:28.


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    #2

    Re: methinks, misdo

    (Not a teacher)

    Methinks isn't common at all presently. If it is used, it is normally tongue-in-cheek, or a direct quote from something like Shakespeare - 'Methinks the lady doth protest too much' (which is actually a misquotation, but oh well, it's what people say!). No one uses it in a serious way.

    Misdo, I've never actually heard or read that I can remember. It seems less archaic than 'methinks' though. I don't see why it wouldn't be appropriate in modern writing.

    Best to wait for someone who knows a bit more about these things to reply.

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    #3

    Re: methinks, misdo

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    Recently, I often encounter the word 'methinks' on various fora (btw, fora or forums?) Before, methought it was an archaic word and, after checking in the dictionary, it appears to be such. So how archaic is it? When you read it, how do you feel about the writer? What's the writer's intention?

    Another word that I have in mind is 'misdo', meaning 'err', 'do wrong' (maybe there are some other meanings - wanted to be precise). How much archaic is this one? I'm not sure if I saw it anywhere in modern speech or writing, I just like the word :) Is it totally obsolete or could I use it as those who use 'methinks' (whatever way it is)?
    "methinks" is an affectation when used today. Its original meaning is "It seems to me", but people use it to mean "I think".
    It usually sounds silly.

    I've never heard 'misdo'.

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    #4

    Re: methinks, misdo

    Merriam-Webster says it is obsolete as an intransitive verb and gives a citation from John Milton: 'not willfully misdoing, but unaware misled'.
    As a transitive it is not tagged obsolete nor archaic. The example of usage is: 'misdo even a simple arrangement'.

    What I want to know is what feelings it raises. What about the sentence: 'forgive me my misdoings'?

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