Category Archives: Etymology

Videre

Several years ago, I did an etymology post on specere words. Here is Part Two, another species of seeing/envisioning words, a branch derived from videre. Vision – ORIGIN Middle English (denoting a supernatural apparition): via Old French from Latin visio(n-), … Continue reading

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Evert

Announcing an exciting new vocabulary acquisition: evert. I have needed this word many times, but had to resort to flipping, reversing, inverting, turning… inside-out. Evert – verb [ with obj. ] Turn (a structure or organ) outward or inside out: … Continue reading

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Circuits

Intersubjectivity is conducted through the medium of things. * I and You runs a circuit through It. Are things otherwise?: I is short-circuiting, again. An indicator of a closed circuit: intense heat. * Circuit – ORIGIN late Middle English: via … Continue reading

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Design rhapsody

To design — to “de-” apart + “-sign” t0 seal or mark… — to set a thing apart and and assign it a significance… — to define the boundaries of some reality, to extract it from the surrounding chaos and … Continue reading

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Gives me pause

This post poses a question regarding the relationship between posing and positing. It is interesting to me that we pose questions, but posit assertions. Situations can pose problems. We keep people posted on what is happening, particularly about these problematic … Continue reading

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Challenges vs. problems

Examining the etymologies of the words, it is strange that we use the word “challenge” as a euphemism for “problem”. Challenge: ORIGIN Middle English (in the senses ‘accusation’ and ‘accuse’): from Old French chalenge (noun), chalenger (verb), from Latin calumnia … Continue reading

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Canny vs uncanny

Uncanny – 1590s, “mischievous;” 1773 in the sense of “associated with the supernatural,” originally Scottish and northern English, from un– (1) “not” + canny. Canny – 1630s, Scottish and northern England formation from can (v.) in its sense of “know … Continue reading

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Centri-

Centripetal – centripetus, from Latin centrum (see center) + –petus ‘seeking’ (from petere ‘seek’). Centrifugal – centrifugus, from Latin centrum (see center) + –fugus ‘fleeing’ (from fugere ‘flee’). Center – from Latin centrum, , from Greek kentron ‘sharp point, stationary … Continue reading

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Specere

Special – ORIGIN Middle English: shortening of Old French especial ‘especial’ or Latin specialis, from species ‘appearance’; literally ‘appearance, form, beauty,’ from specere ‘to look.’ Respect – ORIGIN late Middle English: from Latin respectus, from the verb respicere ‘look back … Continue reading

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Author etymologies

Actor – ORIGIN late Middle English (originally denoting an agent or administrator): from Latin, ‘doer, actor,’ from agere ‘do, act.’ The theater sense dates from the 16th cent. Author – ORIGIN Middle English (in the sense ‘a person who invents … Continue reading

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Intuitions and insights

Intuit: from the Latin verb intueri, from in- ‘upon’ + tueri ‘to look.’ “In-” = upon? Does that mean intuition is a synoptic sense? A superficial grok of a whole? A question: What is the precise relationship between an intuition … Continue reading

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Thoughts on double meanings

I’m thinking out loud here, so please forgive the tedium and unclarity. I’m also traveling, and that always messes me up pretty seriously. Just to get these thoughts out, I’m saying what comes to mind and not worrying excessively over … Continue reading

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Turning

We can only know one another by turning together toward the world and sharing the significance of what we perceive as relevant. When we take turns discussing ourselves – when we make ourselves the object of conversation – our personas … Continue reading

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Looks

Glance – ORIGIN late Middle English, probably a nasalized form of obsolete glace in the same sense, from Old French glacier ‘to slip,’ from glace ‘ice,’ based on Latin glacies. See – ORIGIN Old English seon, of Germanic origin; related … Continue reading

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Put, lost, found, taken

We find a joke funny. We find a concept compelling. Sometimes, things are lost on us. * People laugh along with jokes they don’t get. They know the definition of each word. They comprehend the sentences. Yet, they don’t get … Continue reading

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Cardio

Accord, concord, discord all share the same root: cord– ‘heart.’ Concord means “together-heart”. Magnanimous come from magnus ‘great’ + animus ‘soul’. * I indexed on my wiki a long string of passages on the sublimation of personality in art. In … Continue reading

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Pirates and experience professionals

Experience – ORIGIN late Middle English : via Old French from Latin experientia, from experiri ‘try.’ Compare with experiment and expert. Empirical – ORIGIN late Middle English : via Latin from Greek empeirikos, from empeiria ‘experience,’ from empeiros ‘skilled’ (based … Continue reading

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To be seen and not heard

“You are to be seen and not heard.” This means: you are to be an object, not a subject. Whatever needs knowing about an object can be known through observation. An object belongs to a world, but a world does … Continue reading

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Music

Sounds are harmonized, and the harmony has an immediate and inarticulate meaning irreducible to the formal constituent parts. Lyrics may articulate a meaning related to that of the harmony, but the meaning will not be an identical one, in fact … Continue reading

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Sanity and vision

The world is overrun with visionaries and sane people. What is lacking is: vision which respects sanity, and sanity which recognizes vision. * Too often, sanity poses as vision, exotically paraphrasing the same old content in the language and gestures … Continue reading

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