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Wed, 21 Jan 1998 11:10:08 +0100
A friend of mine who is not on the list asked me why the English
pronoun ''I'' is written with a capital letter but the other pronouns
are not. I looked into what I thought were the relevant chapters of
quite a lot of language histories, books on orthography etc. but
without success. I asked my native speaker colleagues, but they,
too, could only think of the same explanations as myself, namely:
1. It is purely conventional.
2. Perhaps ''I'' was capitalized in order to distinguish it in
(medieval) handwriting from similar-looking i's, u's, v's etc.
Neither idea appears very satisfying to me so perhaps someone out
there could suggest a better (or even the one and only correct) answer
(if there is any) or point me to some literature. I promise to write
a summary, if the results are interesting enough.
Thanks in advance.
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