Saturday, July 18, 2009

Katie Nuttall Etymologies # 1-5

These first etymologies are words I tend to use with stories and storytelling with children. I found “text” very interesting. I always understood it to mean any words. But seeing that it comes from texture, which means, “to weave,” makes it more intricate. Text is more like weaving ideas together to form something beautiful. Also, I often also say to my students we will be writing a personal narrative. So I enjoyed looking at these words to see what I am actually stringing together.

1. Text
1369, "wording of anything written," from O.Fr. texte, O.N.Fr. tixte (12c.), from M.L. textus "the Scriptures, text, treatise," in L.L. "written account, content, characters used in a document," from L. textus "style or texture of a work," lit. "thing woven," from pp. stem of texere "to weave," from PIE base *tek- "make" (see texture).

"An ancient metaphor: thought is a thread, and the raconteur is a spinner of yarns -- but the true storyteller, the poet, is a weaver. The scribes made this old and audible abstraction into a new and visible fact. After long practice, their work took on such an even, flexible texture that they called the written page a textus, which means cloth." [Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style"]

2. Fiction
1398, "something invented," from L. fictionem (nom. fictio) "a fashioning or feigning," from fingere "to shape, form, devise, feign," originally "to knead, form out of clay," from PIE *dheigh- (cf. O.E. dag "dough;" see dough). As a type of literature, 1599. Fictitious is 1615, from M.L. fictitus, a misspelling of L. ficticius "artificial, counterfeit," from fictus, pp. of fingere.

3. Personal
1387, "pertaining to the self," from O.Fr. personel (12c., Fr. personnel), from L. personalis "pertaining to a person," from persona (see person). Meaning "aimed at some particular person" (usually in a hostile manner) first attested 1614. The noun sense of "newspaper item about private matters" is attested from 1888. As "a classified ad addressed to an individual," it is recorded from 1861. Personal computer is from 1976.

4. Narrative
c.1450, from M.Fr. narratif, from L.L. narrativus "suited to narration," from L. narrare (see narration). The noun meaning "a tale, story" is first recorded 1561, from the adjective. Narrator first attested 1611; in sense of "a commentator in a radio program" it is from 1941.

1432, from O.Fr. narration "a relating, recounting, narrating," from L. narrationem (nom.
narratio), from narrare "to tell, relate, recount, explain," lit. "to make acquainted with," from
gnarus "knowing," from PIE suffixed zero-grade *gne-ro-, from base *gno- "to know" (see
know). Narrate is first recorded 1656, but was stigmatized as Scot. and not in general use
until 19c.

5. Story
"account of some happening," c.1225, "narrative of important events or celebrated persons of the past," from O.Fr. estorie, from L.L. storia and L. historia "history, account, tale, story" (see history). Meaning "recital of true events" first recorded c.1375; sense of "narrative of fictitious events meant to entertain" is from c.1500. Not differentiated from history till 1500s. As a euphemism for "a lie" it dates from 1697. Meaning "newspaper article" is from 1892. Story-teller is from 1709. Story-line first attested 1941. That's another story "that requires different treatment" is attested from 1818. Story of my life "sad truth" first recorded 1938.

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