Caxton Thorn

Caxton playing card:William_caxton head and shoulders Caxton_playing_card_scan

This is the poem I wrote for the card:

Caxton is Guilty! Y?

Is it a case of mispronunciation, with a bit of speculation?

If Caxton performed deception, after some deliberation?

Alphabets have no duplication.

Each letter is an indication in the language of pronunciation and the way of enunciation.

The Caxton “batarde” use combinations of French and Greek and Latin letter nations.

But the Þ is an indication of Caxtons misappropriation.

He needed the Þ in necessitation

To provide the “Th” in theorisation.

But no font had the Þ in any location.

So it was, with trepidation,

he had to substitute, in desperation,

and chose a Y for its description.

Not knowing it would cause confusion and consternation.

So “Y” was “THE” in pronunciation.

Not “Y” as “YUH” as in common mutteration.

On deaf ears fell his protestations.

“The Y is “THE!” Þ!


And so it is, without provocation,

That it is a common mispronunciation

That Y is Yuh and not a Thuh in today’s usation!

This poem was written for a project to illustrate a letter of choice.  I chose the Thorn as it has fallen into misuse.  the Thorn originally a “th” sound yet when we see it these days as in “Ye Olde Pub” , the “Ye” should be pronounced “Th” not “Yuh” as Caxton intended.

Thorn or þorn (Þ, þ) is a letter in the Old English.

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