What Is Not Old English and Other Misconceptions
Perhaps the biggest misconception about Old English revolves around just one word:
During the official Old English time period (about 450-1100 A.D.), this word that you see on thousands of signs is actually pronounced:
That may come as quite a disappointment to some, but doesn't it make sense?
That doesn't mean the word "ye" didn't exist (as in Hear Ye, Hear Ye), but in that case it was properly spelled "ge." It referred to a group, however, and not an individual. Over the centuries, that would transition into "thou" as a more accepted Middle English term.
A second popular misconception is the language spoken at Renaissance Fairs (or Faires, Fayres). It shouldn't be referred to as Old English. That may be splitting hairs for some but, really, the Renaissance events we hear about most are centered around the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, which was later on in the 16th century.
Forthwith, if you runneth into someone who durst to take liberties, they shallest also stand corrected.