personal pronoun 'I'

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Michael W

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Does anyone know why the personal pronoun 'I' is always written 'I' and not 'i' ?
Michael W
 

dduck

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I've been searching for the answer for the last half an hour, without much success. :?

"I" existed in middle English, before 1200 A.D. originating from old English, "ic". So, it's quite old.

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Lib

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I remember reading somewhere (although it may have been just someone's opinion) that 'i' is such a small word, so somewhere along the way someone decided to capitalise it. And it stayed that way.
 

Red5

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The use of uppercase for the first person singular is aa manuscript convention that appears in Middle English to differentiate the first person singular from an ordinary lowercase letter; otherwise the first person singular often appears to be part of the preceding word. It's pretty easy to be confused this way, especially since word spacing isn't always optimal in manuscripts, and in very early mss., there is no word spacing.

I can't give you an exact date for capital "I" becoming formal practice. I can tell you that "I" isn't capitalized in the Cotten manuscript of Layamon's Brut, which is roughly 1208, (where I is still often "ich") but it is capitalized by the late fourteenth century Auchinleck manuscript. These are the two extremes that I have readily at hand.

From: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/002611.html
 

MikeNewYork

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Michael W said:
Does anyone know why the personal pronoun 'I' is always written 'I' and not 'i' ?
Michael W

The information in Red's posting agrees with what I have read. The personal pronoun I was capitalized so it could more easily be seen in a written document.
 

Tdol

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I vaguely remember reading that it was because of the style of handwriting used by monks, etc, but I can't really remember any more. ;-(
 
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