, 4 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
One #TIL that continues to astonish me is the story of how the letter þ (pronounced th) disappeared from English because of Gutenberg. German has no "th" sound (which is why, as this Berlitz ad memorably reminded us, they say "sinking" for "thinking")
And since Gutenberg was German, the craftsmen sculpting the letters were not familiar with þ and thus decided to reuse y when þ needed to printed because it looked familiar. This is why we have things like "Ye old Tavern", because the y was used for the th sound by printers
And more eye-openingly, this is also why we have the word "you" in modern english because a bunch of German printers in the 15th century decided to replace the th sound in thou from þou to you
And finally, some variant of the Thu (þu) sound is the second person singular pronoun in almost every single Indo-european language from Hindi (तू) to German (du) to Icelandic (þu). Blame the Germans for saddling us with "you" due to printing limitations.
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