|WikiProject Linguistics||(Rated C-class, Low-importance)|
|This page was nominated for deletion on 12 November 2009. The result of the discussion was keep.|
Removed stuff about indirect requests being "abolished"
Guys, I removed this line:
"The disappearance of the word marked the abolishment of indirect requests in the language."
...because that isn't what the source says at all, and nor is it close (and nor is it true). The only reference to "prithee" on page 11 is this:
"Today we speak modern English - having dropped words such as 'thee,' 'thou', 'thy,' 'thine', and indrect requests such as 'prithee' that mark early modern English."
It doesn't say that we dropped indirect requests - just that we dropped indirect requests such "prithee". If that means that we dropped *all* indirect requests, then surely the first half of the sentence means that we dropped *all* words :o)
Please provide a reference if you want to restore that line. Modern English is full of indirect requests; it's just that "prithee" is no longer among them.
Can anyone understand this?
While please accompanies a request addressing itself to the positive desire of the addressee, as in "if it please you," prithee accompanies a request which addresses itself to the threat of not being answered in the affirmative, as though the request were against the addressee's wishes. This switch stating the speaker's contrary desire to the speaker's wish not to impose signaled a cultural shift in the English-speaking world in which politeness became stated negatively rather than positively.