Monday, September 3

Happy etymology day

+ Dontcha just hate deceiving etymologies? Take 'solecism'. The definition points toward something related to 'sole' or 'solo', no?

1.a nonstandard or ungrammatical usage, as unflammable and they was.  
2.a breach of good manners or etiquette.  
3.any error, impropriety, or inconsistency.

Nope:

1577, from M.Fr. solécisme, from L. soloecismus "mistake in speaking or writing," from Gk. soloikismos "to speak (Greek) incorrectly," from soloikos "ungrammatical utterance," prop. "a speaking like the people of Soloi," from Soloi, Athenian colony in Cilicia, whose dialect the Athenians considered barbarous.

+ Here's a cool one: egregious:

c.1534, from L. egregius, from the phrase ex grege "rising above the flock," from ex "out of" + grege, abl. of grex "herd, flock." Disapproving sense, now predominant, arose 16c., originally ironic and is not in the L. word, which etymologically means simply "exceptional."

Egregious derives from Latin egregius, separated or chosen from the herd, from e-, ex-, out of, from + grex, greg-, herd, flock. Egregious was formerly used with words importing a good quality (that which was distinguished "from the herd" because of excellence), but now it is joined with words having a bad sense. It is related to congregate (to "flock together," from con-, together, with + gregare, to assemble, from grex); segregate (from segregare, to separate from the herd, from se-, apart + gregare); and gregarious (from gregarius, belonging to a flock).

Didn't know it had so much to do with the group. And now I can link 'congregation', 'segregate', 'aggregate', 'gregarious', etc. Sweet!

+ Did you know maudlin comes from Mary Magdalene always pictured as crying?

+ One more thought on Krzyzewski and the national team, which crushed again yesterday: Does this mean Coach K could really make it in the NBA, or is the patriotism a major factor?
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