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Afternoon Delight: Ye Olde 'Ye'
by Jerome Weeks 7 Sep 2012

Despite what you’ve heard for years, there’s no such thing as “Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe” — with the “ye” pronounced “yee.” Our story starts with ancient runes . . . with a word that looks a lot like “porn.”

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Afternoon Delight is a daily diversion for when you’re just back from lunch, but not quite ready to knuckle down to work. Check back weekdays at 1 p.m. for another one.

Despite what you’ve heard for years, there’s no such thing as “Ye Olde Crotchety Thingamajig Shoppe” — with the “ye” pronounced “yee.” People like yours truly get called ‘grammar Nazis’ a lot these days, especially by offended illiterates online, but this is one is for anyone who ever wondered how did “ye” become “the.”

It never did. And it all started with a word that looks a lot like “porn.”

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