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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Etymophilia

The English language is a love of mine. Culture is shaped and defined by its language. And English is a fascinating amalgam of other languages and cultures. It's also always changing. We don't have a "Belles Lettres" to maintain standard usage, which has its benefits and drawbacks.

I especially love archaic English. The more arcane, the more delightful. I can thank my HS English teachers for that, who made us read Chaucer and Shakespeare with an OED and figure it out. Maths bored me; what's the point to solving equations with dead intractable formulas? It's all too simple. No, give me the ever-evolving, multi-influenced "problems" of language.  

If words fascinate you too, here are some bits of fun for a cold winter day...

common Tolkein terms:
http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/words.html

general etymology:
http://www.etymonline.com/

the Wiktionary:
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Main_Page

and here's some phrase origins, for contextual history:
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/36400.html

5 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Fun stuff.

Geo. said...

Excellent links! Shakespeare and an OED, eh? You were fortunate. My hick high school (recently researched the word "tarnation" on my blog) gave me James Joyce and a kaleidoscope.

Austan said...

Had to add this: words that should be banished in 2012-
http://www.lssu.edu/banished/current.php

Damon said...

what a greaaaat blog ,love your blog =) follow

Austan said...

Thanks, Damon, welcome!