Hi, I just had an argument with a friend on the phrase "Speak now or forever hold your peace", usually used in matrimonial proceedings. According to him, it ought to be "Speak now or forever hold your piece" which though not grammatically wrong, it in my opinion not the proper usage in the context of the original phrase.

Can someone shed some light on this please? I am absolutely convinced that its shd be PEACE and not PIECE. Emotion: smile

1 2 3 4
Comments  (Page 4) 

A lot of these explanations seem improper. The exerpt from Merriam-Webster had circular logic using examples. Also, idioms are made-up, so using them as support for an argument is like saying 'knights had to fight dragons, so clearly they're the bravest people in the kingdom.'

I think you have to ask why each works. "Speak your piece" could easily be short for "speak your piece of mind", therefore "hold" is easily substituted with "speak" to reverse the meaning. "Speak your peace" would be the equivalent of saying, 'yeah, everything's great; no worries here'. "Hold your peace" sounds like something a miser would tell an overly happy person. Personally, I'm not interested in a saying just because it became popular (i.e. an idiom), but one that makes sense and that I can defend its usage.

Correct. One has no logical reason to hold "peace" in the context of having useful information, it would be asking to withhold information, which is not holding peace but may instead keep the peace by keeping it secret. However the modern slang has confused people to think of 'piece' as a gun, or something vulgar, but this wedding tradition out dates those terms. Just because someone on the internet rants about how it must be 'peace' and makes jokes about holding ones "piece", doesn't make them right. Use logic... "say your piece, or hold your piece". There is a phrase 'hold your peace' but it is not used exactly this way, though it's similar and that's a reason for all this confusion. -Best wishes and keep the quest for truth.

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies

Respectfully, yes. That book was first written 200 years after English marriage ceremonies have been known to be performed. And as with the bible it had many revisions. So this question could be two questions:

1) What is the original text?

2)What is the current accepted text?

In which case, both spellings are possible to be correct answers.