Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blog Journal Entry - Lisa

Etymology: How is this different from a definition? An etymology both tells us where a word came from (ex. another language) and what it used to mean. Let's look at the word disaster. It is defined as "an occurrence causing widespread destruction and distress; a catastrophe or grave misfortune." However, the etymology of the word disaster goes back to a time when others blamed great misfortunes or disasters on the influence of the stars. When looking back to the word's origon, its Latin root word "astrum" is similar to "astronomy." The negative Latin prefix "dis" (apart) with the root word "astrum" suggested that a disaster could be traced to a star or a planet! This is now considered obsolete, according to the dictionary.

Neologisms: Andropause or Viropause-the end of virility or menopause; Audiophile-someone who collects audio and media paraphenilia; Blading-the act of rollerblading or skating; cords-clothing made of corduroy; Date Rape-forced sexual intercourse after a date or social encounter; Ebonics-Black English Vernacular; Moto-enthusiasm or energy toward goals and motivation; Further-Fetched-More extreme than far-fetched; Ginormous-big-cross between gigantic and enormous; IMHO-Acronym for "In My Humble Opinion"; Late Plate-meal eaten after regular dinner;

Creative Examples of Language: raining cats and dogs; old flame

2 comments:

David said...

The etymology of "disaster" leads us to a completely different world view and reveals a hidden sense to the word. To think of a disaster as a disturbance in the stars is to suggest a turn of fate beyond our control. A fatalism. We might rightly call Hurricane Katrina a disaster inasmuch as it was a force of nature beyond our control, but were the disasterous consequences of the storm true disaster? Some evangelists thought not, placing the cause at the feet of man's immorality. Some liberals would say the real disaster was in the White House - but that would also imply a sad fatalism . "The fault , dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in our selves."

Lisa Speer said...

I tend to go with the liberal viewpoint...fatalism or not:) Interesting to delve into the origons of thoughts and reasoning behind a prefix and suffix put together. Amazing. Lisa