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In one of his comments, a reputable member of the ELL community, a native English speaker, finished his thought with a phrase "me dodges brickbat".

This reminded me of the phrase "me thinks", which is marked as archaic usage of "I think" in dictionaries but is still in use (I came across it several times here on the site).

That particular comment put aside, my question is as follows:

Would it be correct to suppose that the use of such a grammatically incorrect (on the face of it) expression by a well-educated native English speaker should add either humorous or sarcastic/derogatory notes to his remark/statement?

For what possible purposes may it be used ?

How may this be received by a native English speaker if it comes from a not very fluent in English foreigner?

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  • Where is me dodges brickbat used? The context may shed some light on its use. Aug 21, 2016 at 19:30
  • Me thinks is an archaic variant, sometimes used by native speakers. Me wants and me sees is baby talk. Aug 21, 2016 at 19:32
  • @AlanCarmack - If it's all you have to add to what already has been said in the question, thanks a lot!
    – Victor B.
    Aug 21, 2016 at 19:34
  • @AlanCarmack - As for the context for the phrase in that comment, I have no questions about its meaning. Thanks again.
    – Victor B.
    Aug 21, 2016 at 19:44
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    @Rompey That is an old school IRC reference. In IRC, "/me" causes the chat client to render [username]. So "/me dodges brickbat" would be rendered on the screen as "P.E.Dant dodges brickbat." The usage "/me" is also seen elsewhere, such in Usenet, as a sort of "in joke" employed by aficionadi. Aug 21, 2016 at 20:43

2 Answers 2

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"Methinks" (which is usually written as a single word) is an obsolete form, which is sometimes used for archaic or comic effect.

It has its origin in another obsolete phrase "It me thinks" = "It thinks to me": obsolete, because "thinks" cannot be used in this impersonal sense in modern English.

All the other forms you have quoted are invented forms, by people who either did not understand the origin of the word, or were deliberately being ungrammatical.

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  • Nearly every modern use of the form that I've seen involves somebody quoting (or misquoting, just as likely) Queen Gertrude. Aug 22, 2016 at 0:14
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The phrase

me thinks

is not grammatically incorrect and is a BrE usage, though dated, and not usually found in AmE usage. It is well understood and "me" is used instead of the more modern "I". "Me" can also be used as the possessive

me old china (plate) my old friend

which is Cockney rhyming slang for "mate" (rhymes with "plate").

There are other instances when a slightly different form gets used in BrE

them days are long gone (BrE)
those days are long gone (AmE)

These forms are often found in East London or Essex accents and are still in use today, but care must be taken on its usage, it is not generalised.

How might it be received?
Well, if someone spoke in a syntax of a particular region of your native tongue but with a foreign accent, how would you receive it? It would probably depend on the context.

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  • "Well, if someone spoke in a syntax of a particular region of your native tongue but with a foreign accent, how would you receive it?" I think I'd laugh out loud, in a good-humoured way. Thanks for the answer.
    – Victor B.
    Aug 21, 2016 at 20:03
  • "Them" is not at all uncommon as the third person plural subjective pronoun in rural Southern and Midwestern AmE: "Them trees is junk," a neighbor recently opined of a Black Locust. Aug 22, 2016 at 0:21

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