Category Archives: Etymology


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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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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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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