Good grief, it's a running gag (lady_ganesh) wrote in fandom_grammar,
Good grief, it's a running gag

Answer: Throne vs. Thrown

An anonymouse asked:

What is the difference between "throne" and "thrown"?

With examples from Saiyuki.

Before I get to the distinction, which is fairly straightforward, I want to talk about why this is even a question at all. "Throne" and "thrown" are different words with different meanings, but they're part of that traditionally frustrating category known as homonyms, words that mean different things and are often spelled differently but that sound exactly the same.

English is a language that beats other languages up for their lunch money other words, and that results in a wide variety of words with similar sounds, different meanings, and often completely different origins and roots. "Throne" and "thrown" is one of those combinations.

The American Heritage Dictionary definition of "throne" notes that the word is from Middle English-- trone-- which was derived from Old French, which in turn got it from Latin and/or Greek. "Throw" or "thrown" doesn't have quite such an exotic pedigree-- it came from the Middle English word throwen, and from Old English before that. Somewhere along the line, English started pronouncing these words in the same way.

"Throne" is a noun, and a seat where royalty sits.

Kami-sama sat upon his makeshift, toy-strewn throne and grinned.

The best way to remember what "throne" signifies is the 'one' in its spelling. Only one person sits in it, so it's a throne.

"Thrown," on the other hand, is the past tense of "throw." It refers to the act of throwing-- an action that's happened.

Sanzo had been thrown a good twenty feet, Hakkai estimated, and broken his neck as well. It was a nasty injury, made worse by the host of injuries he'd clearly already experienced.

"Throw," the verb you're using, is in the beginning of the word, so you can use that to help you remember the difference.

Hopefully, these words won't "throw" you any longer, anonymous!
Tags: !answer, author:lady_ganesh, word choice:homophones

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