• Posted on
  • by
  • in

A USA Today blog entry from Kevin Maney, dated 5 April 2006, has the following headline:

Apple and XP: Has hell frozeth shut?

I'm wondering whether this was an intentional mangling of the more traditional "Has hell frozen over?", or whether the author just got confused.

But either way, I suspect it's a good example of people's tendency to use "-eth" and "-est" endings without really understanding how they were used in older versions of English.

"-eth" or "-th" was for the third person singular present tense. "-est" was for the second-person singular.

So: "I freeze"; "thou freezest"; "he freezeth." But: "I froze"; "you froze"; "she froze".

"Frozeth" just plain isn't a word. And "more than that, it never was one!" (he paraphrased randomly).