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Does anyone know the history of f/s spelling substitutions?
I started reading the 1728 Cyclopaedia after stumbling across to a reference to it on wikipedia, and I am finding the usage of the letters f and s to be rather unusual.
Here, for example, is part of the definition for the term "abbess":
ABBESS, the Superior of an Abbey, or Convent of Nuns. See ABBEY, and CONVENT. The Abbefs has the fame Rights, and Authority over her nuns, that the Abbots regular have over their Monks. See ABBOT. The Sex indeed does not allow her to perform the Spiritual Functions annex'd to the Priefthood, wherewith the Abbot is ufually invefted, but there are Influences of fome Abbeffes , who have a Right, or rather a Privilege, to comiffion a Prieft to act for 'em.
Original, scanned page, from the University of Wisconsin digital archive:
There seems to be a definite grammatical purpose, since a capitalized word does not use the f-substitution, and the last letter of a word does not use f-substitution, either. The writer meanwhile is a scholar, so this is not some uneducated commoner making up spelling as he goes along.
DMahalko 11:45, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
- Actually, those aren't f's. What you're seeing is the long s. :) - furrykef (Talk at me) 21:44, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
How does one know what is the old form of a word in Modern English?
I refer to the List of English words with diacritics which supposes that many English words (not borrowed words) are properly spelled with diacritics, where as I am inclined to think this is actually an exceptional old form that was derived from selected sources such as personal letters or private publications.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 01:30, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
In this article, the Great Vowel Shift is claimed to have ended in 1550, although the link to the Wikipedia page for the Great Vowel Shift claims its end to be nearer to 1600. Also, the following references claim the same.  Mckenzienull (talk) 21:36, 4 October 2016 (UTC)McKenzie Null
Concerns about accuracy of items marked with reference to "Change in Contemporary English"
I made a diligent attempt to figure out how to properly edit or introduce a discussion for changes on particular sections of the Modern_English entry.
Specifically, under Outline of Changes the text referencing this citation:
I found the cited book and examined pages 18-19.
Typically, a starting point for our investigations will be provided by the many current hypotheses and assumptions about changes going on in English grammar. These are rarely completely unfounded, but documentation is usually very patchy, impressionistic and coloured by prescriptive prejudice. This being so, state-of- the-art corpus-linguistic methodology is, we feel, precisely the strategy to use in order to flesh out, to refine and, where necessary, to correct the picture.
A consensus list of grammatical topics worth exploring in this spirit might take the following form (based on Barber 1964: 130-144), with additions):
After the above text, the wiki page essentially lists the same bullet points as the book.
I don't believe the book authors' meaning matches the text on the wikipedia entry.... Needsloot (talk) 19:09, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Learn english language 188.8.131.52 (talk) 15:20, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
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