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.


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?


Anonymous said...

I think "Coach K" having success is more the product of having 12 of the best athletes available.

He probably wouldn't make it in the NBA for several reasons. One he wouldn't get to bring in 3 or 4 blue chippers every year. Two, look at how Dukies do when they get into the NBA, most great ones flame out in the pros. Three, his system is best suited for the college ranks. I have others, but I guess that would be something for a blog post (if I had one).

I would prefer to see him somewhat like a Dean Smith (good to great college coach who never tried the NBA) and not as a Pitino (good college coach, bad NBA coach).


Sean Meade said...

i agree with you across the board, Chris (though i would put Smith firmly in the 'great' category)

Anonymous said...

I might too, Sean, but I wanted to leave some wiggle room in the classification because I know some UNC alums would take offense if I put them on even footing.
Chris (Gus)