• Member Since 25th Apr, 2013
  • offline last seen Nov 20th, 2023

Lady Grey

Writer of One-shots. Dabbler of Genres. Altogether too slow for her own good.


Dear Princess Dear Celestia,

Today I learned that sometimes how you say something can be just as important as what you have to say. It's easy to forget the true strength of words and all the subtle ways they can bring us closer together or push us apart. It doesn't matter if you're a filly in Ponyville or an Alicorn Princess in Canterlot, words are powerful.

There's still so much to learn about friendship. But I think I'm ready to start.

Your Faithful Student,
Your Friend,
Twilight Sparkle

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 60 )

A simple lesson, but definitely one worth knowing.

I enjoyed reading this. :twilightsmile:

Not only did I like the writing and the execution, this is the first time I've seen a fimfiction writer pick up on the 'you/thou' difference.

I know that feeling. Locked up on a scene in one story, throw my hands up in frustration and get about five minuets into another story and PING; light-bulb! That other story's scene is all nice and worked out... and I'm locked on the second one. -_-& Just can't win sometimes.

Funny story, really like the characterization. I'm also a fan of word drift; oh what fun the English language is to write.

3977056 Thanks a lot! I'm glad you liked the linguistic discussion, because that's really why this story exists. I've always been sort of peripherally fascinated by linguistics (Making up fictional languages is a hobby of mine) and this idea just sort of started out as a fun joke about it. I'm surprised it's not a more common topic given Luna's popularity, I'd love to see some grammatical Luna humor. :twilightsmile:

3977108 It's actually really funny for me because the two pieces aren't even remotely the same genre! I went from working on a dark library mystery piece to a tea party about grammar! The best part was, that I'm pretty sure the only reason I was able to finish it was because I then refused to tell Fedora Mask that I wasn't working on the new thing. I am absolutely convinced that was the only reason I could finish it and I cannot tell you for the life of me why.

Headcanon accepted. Thank you.

Muses are fickle things. Sometimes the words come in a trickle. Sometimes a flood. They're weird like that, by which I mean muses and words alike.

In any case, a great bit of Twiluna friendshipping. My only concern is that Twilight never seems to mention why she has trouble feeding herself or getting dressed, and so part of me can't help but imagine Luna coming out of this conversation with an amusingly wrong idea about the newest princess's predicament.

But that's neither here nor there. Thank you for this story. :twilightsmile:

Quite lovely! It's a touching scene between two fish out of water, and a great extension of the friendship that began in Luna Eclipsed. Nicely done.


but she had sort expected to feel

Should that be "sort of expected" ?

3977407 Oops! Thanks for catching that.

I'm glad you liked the story.


the stiff, formal past Aren’t linguistic shifts

Needs a period after 'past'.

Luna Smiled.

Should 'smiled' be lowercase?

Then she picked up her cup between her hooves and held it out over the table.

I just caught this: Luna used her hooves, reciprocating comfort for comfort after Twilight used "thee" and "thy" instead of "you". Subtle touch, and a great one.

3977185 Suggestestow that mine encouragement hath, in sooth, the opposite effect?


I mean, generally. Obviously in this case I had no idea.

Does this mean I have to start distrusting whatever you tell me you're working on in the future? You realize that will end up with me being very upset when I don't get to read the things that you lied about writing, right?

Well, moving on to the story...

I mean, you know how I feel about this one. I like it. It's a good bit of Twilight and Luna psychology, and I heartily approve of the tweaks you made to address my concerns about logic gaps (or I guess I should say, missing box-cars from otherwise-sound trains of thought?). I still would have fixed the other couple things I said I would have fixed, but I didn't take your every note on Swans either, heh.

If anything, I wouldn't mind a longer story about Twilight coming to grips with her power scale and trying too hard to be "Princess"-like and feeling too much pressure to be a beacon of decorum/friendship, but I imagine those already exist, and there's really only so much more you can ask for from a story that already has linguistic shifts as a major plot/character point.

No. Wait. I take it back. Twilight and Luna, ARCHAIC SOCIALLY AWKWARD BUDDY COPS.

One of them is 1000 years behind in terms of what's "cool"...

The other was trapped on the moon for a millennium.

Together, they're:

Coming soon to an insane rant near you.

A delightful piece of tea-break fiction, if you will pardon the pun - although in my case it is coffee-break fiction due to preference of beverage.

If I may extend the analogy, it is a nice blend of the substantial savoury - the discussion on the changing nature of linguistics, as well as the discussion in facing their changing roles in society - topped with the sweetness of a developing friendship. I shall have to further investigate your writings, but for now have a Like (#42, how fortuitous).

One thing that did catch my eye in this story:

Luna caught Twilight’s teacup as it flew through the air.
Luna stared for a moment, clutching the thousand year old porcelain between her hooves.

Reading the first line, I had assumed that Luna caught the teacup using her magic. To my surprise, I was incorrect in that assumption - apparently our Princess of the Night has the reflexes of a cat! :pinkiegasp:

This is a lovely story, and a part of me wishes it was the start of a small series. Luna and Twilight go along so well together; Twilight with her social awkwardness and Luna with the cultural gap.

"They clicked their cups together and drank."
I half expected it to end with "They clicked their cups together and half of Equestria exploded because Twilight lost her concentration..."

Very nicely done!

:pinkiehappy: This guy gets it! I'm so glad you noticed! It makes me fuzzy inside! The ending of this story is all about compromise....and eating with your hands because you know.

3977396 Oh. Oh Dear. That hadn't actually occurred to me. ...I'm going to say that Luna is aware for Twilight's difficulties but not the extent of them? Yeah... Or else she and Celestia have a conversation
"Dear Sister I am most concerned about Twilight, I fear she may be in some serious distress!"
"Oh Luna, how did your Tea Party go?"
"It was most enjoyable, but Twilight has confessed to me in a moment of confidence that she has difficulty getting dressed in the morning or feed herself! That is most unusual for a Unicorn her age. We should send for the royal physician at once!"
"Oh, that, it's fine Luna, it will pass."
"Thou art taking this altogether too calmly!"
"I think Twilight is just taking a while to develop fine arcane control. But she's a bright Pony I give her a month before she's back to normal."

or something...

3977666 Fed you want me to write something longer about this? Haha

Hahahahahahahahahaha :pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy:

I'll work on the Magnum Opus instead.

3979855 No Silly they were using their hooves. :ajsmug:

3978095 Yeah she does! Or maybe she just pulled it out of her Magic after I dunno

Nicely done. I've seen this linguistic point brought up in conversation about Luna, but it was really nice to see it in story form. Like others, I felt a little ache at how fast it was over, but I'm not sure what you would have done to extend it without either padding it or dedicating an entire story to archaic linguistic peccadilloes (which I would certainly read but maybe other people wouldn't.) Anyhow, good work.

A sweet little Friendship story, what the show is all about, and something that has been distinctly lacking in the fandom as of late. Thank you for this :twilightsmile:

Brains are indeed silly, fickle little things, ain't they?

I actually rather enjoyed the background element of Twi having to get used to her now amped up powers, perhaps a bit more than the linguistic shift you've written the main part of the story around (I'll likely have to send back my English Major membership card, I'm sure). The pull between allowing yourself to be comfortable and sacrificing that comfort for those around you was certainly well done and I think the linguistic history bit backgrounds your core dilemma pretty nicely. But I'm definitely a sucker for the uncomfortable/personal confession as a means of comforting another bit. (did have a few consistent grammatical boodads going on, like periods separating the spoken from the speaking verbs and double hyphens that ought to be dashes and some scattershot capitalization (and maybe even some odd sentence/paragraph structuring with all the sentence-starting coordinators))

Anyways, this was certainly a nice little friendshippy bit of fic. Quite nice.


It's alright and understandable how something like that would be stressful to Twilight since it was pretty much out of nowhere. For future reference though my friend the term for them is "ponies", not people. :rainbowkiss:

Humans don't exist in that generation. :raritywink:

Nice story, but why is Luna's speaking wrong?:ajbemused:

3985050 ...It's not? And Twilight accepting and realizing that she shouldn't make Luna conform to her modern sensibilities just because it makes her more comfortable is part of the point of the story? :twilightsheepish: ?

3983869 Oops! There are a couple of those aren't there? Sorry, I don't write ponyfic very often, so I carry over some of my original fiction habits. I guess I missed a couple. If it makes you feel better I tend to think of "person" in terms of "sentient life form" rather than human.

3985147 Luna knows how to use modern talk. She only used Old English during Luna Eclipsed.


For future reference though my friend the term for them is "ponies", not people.

Except the show is hardly consistent about this linguistic quirk, either; Twilight refers to "people" in describing ponies, so IMO no fault.

3985153 Aaaand the award for missing the point goes to...

(Also, EARLY MODERN ENGLISH, IF YOU PLEASE! Old English is borderline unintelligible to a modern speaker.)

3985160 Yeah, this. The show uses "anyone" etc too, even though the fandom likes to act like any word besides anypony is wrong.

And don't get me started on whether filly is an actual age description or if it covers "any female pony who's not yet middle-aged" in the sense that "girl" does for humans.

Perfect portrayal of pretty pony princesses.

What I mean to say is that you perfectly nailed how such a meeting would go.
The characters are so believable that it's uncanny and their interactions arevery lifelike.
Plus, the entire language difference thing is so rarely explored in a proper way and you incorporated it very nicely into the story.

I applaud you.

3985324 Luna knew how to speak Modern English before Twilight became an Alicorn:ajbemused:

3985669 And the story pretty clearly takes the stance that she still wasn't very comfortable with modern language despite being capable of speaking it, and, in the specific case of second person singular pronouns, had nobody she considered a close enough friend to use the more intimate form. That's not a random trapping, it's the actual crux of the story (or one of the two main pillars, if you'd rather). So to say "nice story, but what's up with this thing that you built the story around," is some pretty Olympic-caliber point-missing.

I mean, seriously. Picture yourself in a country where they don't speak your native tongue. You might be totally capable of picking up the local language, but you'd still be a lot more comfortable with your own language, even after you'd been there for a while, right? And if you had the opportunity to converse with someone in the language that's more familiar to you, you'd probably take it, unless you were actively committing yourself to using the local language as much as possible. The story's whole thing is that it's nice for Luna to not have to think about her words before she speaks, sort of like how Twilight would like to not have to think about how to do basic magic without catapulting things across the room. I mean, when you put it like that, it seems almost deliberate or something.

Besides which, for us to accept that "Luna has demonstrated that she understands modern language, so a story in which she doesn't understand specific intricacies of modern language is bogus," we would have to also grant that bending canon, or even interpreting it in ways that aren't the most immediately obvious, is unacceptable. Which uh, would create flaws in a pretty huge swathe of the fandom's collective output.

I just find it strange that your approach to a story about two characters sharing the feeling of being fish-out-of-their-depth is to say "but one of them has CLEARLY already adapted to this." As if adherence to the letter of canon were more valuable than the ability to see and explore unaddressed struggles the characters might face.

It's fairly uncommon for me to learn something from stories on this site, nevermind lessons about olde English. Kudos. Though it strikes me as odd that Luna is seemingly ignorant of the shift in dialect, considering she's been back 16 months. Surely this isn't the first instance where she's encountered someone using you instead of thou, I'd be willing to bet even Celestia would have used you to address her at some point. A small plot hole but this was enjoyable to read nonetheless.

3985807 Actually, Luna is technically of higher rank than any one she meets, and as such, it is right and proper for them to call her "You". Luna only objects to Twilight using "You" to refer to her once they are of the same rank, wherein their familiarity should now warrant the intimate second person. My headcannon concerning Celestia is that she would use the intimate second person in private, but they would treat eachother with "respect" in person.

3986273 Fair enough. In my mind Luna would have had to have gone through a lot of rehabilitation to help her psychologically, socially and politically. Something we catch a glimpse of in the Nightmare Night episode. So it strikes me as peculiar that her interaction with Twilight is the absolute first she's heard of this. I don't know, I'm not knowledgeable enough in grammar from both archaic and modern speech to discuss this.

This is delightful! I actually have a story in the works right now where Twilight uses thee and thou with Luna as a special friendship thing between them, so basically a conversation a lot like this would have happened in the past in my story as well. :twilightsmile: You did a really excellent job with it.

3985160 *Shrugs* I just try to keep it to the way that world is, less confusing that way. :rainbowkiss:

Why did you fucking capitalize the word tea in the description

3991393 Oops! I'm sorry, I tend to capitalize important nouns in sentences when I am not paying attention. Will fix at once.
Though I do wonder if you enjoyed the story despite this simple, understandable, mistype.

3991761 I dont enjoy any part of my life ok.

I don't understand Brain. I just don't.

If ever anyone needed proof that you are human, there it is.

Good story.:heart:

I don't know what to think about this story. I like the lesson that words, no matter how simple, can be misinterpreted between two individuals. However, the whole you/thou thing confused me.:rainbowhuh:

4000696 Basically, English used to have two versions of the word "you" one that was considered "formal" and the other that was considered "intimate." Now we only have one, which was previously the formal second person pronoun "you" rather than the familiar or intimate pronoun "thou". Much like switching honorifics in Japanese, Luna expected that once Twilight and she became friends on an equal level Twilight would stop using the formal "you" and instead switch to the informal "Thou". Doing otherwise would be a bit like talking to some one who you knew when they were younger, but are now quite close friends with and them insisting on calling you Mr./Ms.--It's not technically a faux pas but it's excessively formal and might make a friendly relationship awkward. Does that make the context more clear?

4001126 Okay, I think I understand now. Thank you.

Very cute, captured the princesses' personalities. Also learned something new about English. :pinkiesmile:

Congratulation to the mini-feature! You deserve it!:twilightsmile:

Very nice. I have this nice mental image now where when Luna and Twilight talk to each other, Luna starts using "you" with Twilight and Twilight uses "thy" because they both know that's what the other is most comfortable with. Like a little private joke.

And then they start doing it in front of Twilight's friends, just to see their reaction. I can picture them sharing a little secret smile at the confused looks.

:applejackconfused: "What in tarnation? Why is Luna speaking normally and Twilight all fancy like?"
:pinkiehappy: "Oh, it must be opposites day! Or night! Because the sun is up! Whoopee."

This is very sweet! I loved the language play, as well as your portrayal of Luna and Twilight. Twilight's difficulty with her magic was also a very nice touch, and fit the scene perfectly. Well done. :twilightsmile:

3977056 3977139

If you guys want more of the olden vernacular, Chengar Quordath and Ponibius do a fantastic job of it in The Lunar Rebellion and Midnight respectively.

Beyond that, they're both excellent stories in their own right. :twilightsmile:

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