Monday, July 20, 2009

Ilene Evans Language Journal
Etymological Discoveries 1-5
1. pale (adj): c.1300, from O.Fr. paile, from L. pallidus "pale, pallid, wan," from pallere "be pale, grow pale," from PIE *pol-/*pel- (see pallor). The verb is first recorded c.1300. Pale-face, supposed N.Amer. Indian word for "European," is attested from 1822.
pale (n.) c.1330, "fence of pointed stakes," from L. palus "stake," related to pangere "to fix or fasten" (see pact). Fig. sense of "limit, boundary, restriction" is from c.1400. Barely surviving in beyond the pale and similar phrases. Meaning "the part of Ireland under English rule" is from 1547.
I have seen and hear the phrase “beyond the pale” so many times that I wondered what it meant – pale was it just the color? The pale horizon? In the dictionary, it also mentioned that the severed heads of the conquered leaders of rebellion were mounted on pales and placed in sight as a warning and also the head was considered to hold the power and intelligence of a person.

2. nice (adj.) - c.1290, "foolish, stupid, senseless," from O.Fr. nice "silly, foolish," from L. nescius "ignorant," lit. "not-knowing," from ne- "not" (see un-) + stem of scire "to know." "The sense development has been extraordinary, even for an adj." [Weekley] -- from "timid" (pre-1300); to "fussy, fastidious" (c.1380); to "dainty, delicate" (c.1405); to "precise, careful" (1500s, preserved in such terms as a nice distinction and nice and early); to "agreeable, delightful" (1769); to "kind, thoughtful" (1830). In 16c.-17c. it is often difficult to determine exactly what is meant when a writer uses this word. By 1926, it was pronounced "too great a favorite with the ladies, who have charmed out of it all its individuality and converted it into a mere diffuser of vague and mild agreeableness." [Fowler]

As a little girls we were always told to be nice, even now children are corrected in this way. What we are really telling them is to be naive and ignorant.

3. wonder (n.) O.E. wundor "marvelous thing, marvel, the object of astonishment," from P.Gmc. *wundran (cf. O.S. wundar, M.Du., Du. wonder, O.H.G. wuntar, Ger. wunder, O.N. undr), of unknown origin. In M.E. it also came to mean the emotion associated with such a sight (c.1290).
wonder (v.) The verb is from O.E. wundrian. Used colloquially in Pennsylvania Ger. areas in some transitive senses (It wonders me that ... for "I wonder why ..."); this was common in M.E. and as late as Tindale (1533), and I am told by a correspondent that the usage also yet survives in Yorkshire/Lincolnshire. Wonderful is recorded from c.1100. Wonderland "imaginary realm" is from 1790; wonder-worker (1599) translates Gk. thaumatourgos.

I think the quality of wonder is the single most important thing to human health. The ability to wonder, the sense that keeps us open minded and tender, not stiff and easy to break. Realizing that we don’t know all the answers and that there is still undiscovered territory is the beginning of delight for me.

4. wound (n.)
O.E. wund "hurt, injury," from P.Gmc. *wundaz (cf. O.S. wunda, O.N. und, O.Fris. wunde, O.H.G. wunta, Ger. wunde "wound"), perhaps from PIE base *wen- "to beat, wound." The verb is from O.E. wundian.

My friend Caroline, said that the word wound was related to wonder – that a wound held a kind of mystical sight, where what was to be one has been sundered and yet it yearns to become one again and allows for healing, regrowth and that there is even a special kind of light emitted from a wound – a purple light. That made me wonder how the words are connected. I have not found a direct connection yet, but it makes me wonder.

5. conversation
1340, from O.Fr. conversation, from L. conversationem (nom. conversatio) "act of living with," prp. of conversari "to live with, keep company with," lit. "turn about with," from L. com- intens. prefix + vertare, freq. of vertere (see versus). Originally "having dealings with others," also "manner of conducting oneself in the world;" specific sense of "talk" is 1580. Used as a synonym for "sexual intercourse" from at least 1511, hence criminal conversation, legal term for adultery from late 18c.

I am intrigued that we are studying language by listening to normal conversation. I expected us to be looking at language more for an academic insular point of view. I am relieved, surprised and gratified because in our normal conversation, the application for storytelling is so evident and helpful. Conversation – to converse is such a healthy human thing to do.

Neologisms 1-10

1. Hasbian, noun - A former lesbian who is now in a heterosexual relationship. Also known as a wasbian.
2. Lifestreaming n. An online record of a person's daily activities, either via direct video feed or via aggregating the person's online content such as blog posts, social network updates, and online photos.—lifestreamer n.—lifestream v., n.
3. Prairie-dogging n. When the heads of office workers pop up over cubicle walls in response to a loud voice or noise.
4. Intexticated - adj. Preoccupied by reading or sending text messages, particularly while driving a car.—intexticating pp. ;—intextication n.
5. Bioneers – biological pioneers of the new age
6. Twitterhumpinng, Excessively flirtatious tweets between two people to the point of cybertweet.
7. Skedaddled – Running away quickly - 6/17/09 Carrol Peterson while portraying Walt Whitman
8. Earworm n. A song or tune that repeats over and over inside a person's head. Also: ear-worm, ear worm
9. The Jamboogies - Mary Streets - The overwhelming feeling that one has to escape to the outside and; to get moving; to get something started.
10. Remix - remix is an alternative version of a song, different from the original version. This name is also used for any alterations of medias other than a song.

No comments: