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Archaism

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Archaism

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Archaism is the use of outdated language.

Example

Thou art a dolt!

Henceforth, you are banned from this place.

I'm having a really magic time!

Discussion

Language evolves, sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly. Words appear and words go out of common usage. At some point they become considered 'old-fashioned' or quaint.

Some words get associated with particular texts, for example 'thee' and 'thou' may be associated with the Bible or Shakespeare. Some words persist in particular contexts, where they retain particular meaning, for example the use of 'henceforth' and 'notwithstanding' are still common in legal documents.

Archism may be used deliberately to evoke a particular effect, and older words are still used in poetry and some literature to give an antique feel. Older words may also be used to give an impression of erudition.

Classification: Meaning

See also

 

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