Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.

Screeeeech! We got a switch from the informal to the formal right here. A line ago it was thou and thy and now it’s you. Does scolding naturally indicate a switch in tone? Like, when Gertrude told Hamlet to take his elbows off the table, was it all like, “Wouldst thou pass the potatoes? They are there at thy left. What’s this I see? Take your elbows off the table, young man.”

It makes sense actually. I know some parents who have trouble communicating good behavior to their kids because they do not know how to make this switch. It might be helpful in a classroom, too. You could be all cool teacher – thee-ing and thou-ing it up with your cool students – but when it’s time to get them to shut up. . Well then – it’s “YOU all need to be quiet right now.”

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