Etymology

I suspect that most verbs began as nouns verbed and an ungodly number of nouns were once verbs nouned and not once but sometimes many times this renouning and reverbing takes place, leaving dictionaries a record of wanton anarchy and the decline of values over and over again.

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One thought on “Etymology

  1. From your previous posts, I know that you are in favor of this kind of “anarchy”. Frees up the language and all that.

    I’m sure I’ve asked this before, but why the heck has the word “awesome” completely conquered the American language? It seems I can’t read anything — advertising, book, whatever — created in the last decade or so which is not infused with it, and I can’t hold even the briefest conversation with anybody — “I’ll have the broccoli cheese soup.” “Awesome.” — without hearing it multiple times. It baffles me. I can’t think of any word, with the possible exception of “OK” (which I insist should not be spelt “okay,” just as I cringe when I see “all right” spelt “alright;” and, yes, I am using the archaic “spelt” instead of “spelled” just to be an annoying curmudgeon) which has taken over human speech and writing. Certain other tendencies show up on my radar, such as “share” to mean “say” (just as young folks used to say “go” for “say”) but that one boggles my Twentieth Century mind.

    The other trend which amazes me — ignoring the fact that everybody under the age of, say, twenty has a weird first name, or that so many people here in Dixie go by their middle names, a trend I’ve never encountered in any part of the country — is the fact that I see so many people, from sweet old grandmothers to middle-aged blue collar workers to hipsters, covered with tattoos. Personally, I can’t think of anything that I would want to permanently inscribe on my skin.

    I’ve wandered all over the place here, but that’s anarchy for you.

    Like

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