Search found 2976 matches

by Phil White
Fri May 06, 2005 3:57 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: construe and rue
Replies: 3
Views: 1127

construe and rue

Yes, Tim's right, there's not a great deal of etymology in the online sources. "Construe" certainly comes from the Latin construere , ulimately derived from "con" + "struere", i.e. to "pile together". It thus has the same root as "construct". Ken may be able to help with early citations and meanings...
by Phil White
Fri May 06, 2005 3:08 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Inability of being true to himself
Replies: 3
Views: 1558

Inability of being true to himself

Paras,

I certainly can't think of a single word, but perhaps "lacking integrity" or "lacking the courage of his convictions" may get close to what you want.
by Phil White
Fri May 06, 2005 10:42 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: three on a match
Replies: 20
Views: 4160

three on a match

And I developed the habit of smoking a cigarette in a cupped hand from smoking in the murkier corners of the school yard. It's stuck with me since, at least whenever I smoke out of doors.
by Phil White
Thu May 05, 2005 10:05 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: fanny packs
Replies: 12
Views: 2897

fanny packs

Presumably one or the other nation doesn't know its arse from its err...
by Phil White
Wed May 04, 2005 12:01 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: General Semantics, postmodernism and Wordwizard
Replies: 35
Views: 7976

General Semantics, postmodernism and Wordwizard

Che is right to point to Derrida, particularly with respect to postmodernism and language. I always take the Wikipedia with a pinch of salt, but many of the entries about language appear to be pretty sound, and the one on postmodernism provides a pretty good broad-sweep introduction (http://en.wikip...
by Phil White
Sun May 01, 2005 2:03 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: fruitless search
Replies: 7
Views: 1915

fruitless search

Dale, The thread you mean is the "qb the ring" thread, which appears to have been inadvertantly removed. We discussed its mysterious disappearance under http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?t=17831 To my knowledge, this is the only thread to have disappeared without trace. In this forum so...
by Phil White
Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:21 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: New ROOTs?
Replies: 20
Views: 3466

New ROOTs?

As Russ said, it depends whether "cannot be traced back" means "cannot be traced back to an existing root in the relevant language (or one of its progenitors)" or "is not in any way derivative (of anything)". Either way, it's something I'd never really considered, and the fundamental argument by and...
by Phil White
Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:41 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: New ROOTs?
Replies: 20
Views: 3466

New ROOTs?

The absolute contention that "no new roots can appear" is questionable, but it is certainly a relatively rare occurrence, at least in a well-established language. Nevertheless, many trade names become perfectly acceptable roots (xerox, hoover, google); occasionally something new arrives from science...
by Phil White
Sun Apr 17, 2005 10:26 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: flaunt vs. flout
Replies: 12
Views: 3736

flaunt vs. flout

Bob,
To answer your question, I agree with you. It would never have occurred to me that there was any confusion.
by Phil White
Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:21 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Labyrinth. desert. papyrus...
Replies: 2
Views: 1303

Labyrinth. desert. papyrus...

Jon,
Anything you will find on the Web needs treating with a certain amount of scepticism, but the brief article at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Al ... loans.html appears to me to be pretty sound.
by Phil White
Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:38 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: "Last straw"/Clochandichter
Replies: 39
Views: 11960

"Last straw"/Clochandichter

Er... You guys have lost me. There is no German verb "anderichten". There is a German verb "andichten", meaning "to impute" (but no "er", so, having no other use for it, I put it at the beginning of this reply - and at the end for good measure). Also, there is no "andericht", and I can't think of an...
by Phil White
Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:02 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Negro, colored, Black, African American, person of color
Replies: 16
Views: 11674

Negro, colored, Black, African American, person of color

Ken, It does indicate something that's been raised here before, namely that citations in the dictionaries can only ever give some indication of the possible first appearance in print, and that the earliest citation in a dictionary only ever points to the latest possible date on which a term or phras...
by Phil White
Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:16 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Negro, colored, Black, African American, person of color
Replies: 16
Views: 11674

Negro, colored, Black, African American, person of color

Ken, a minor correction to the OED, or whichever source it was. Purely by chance I came across an older printed occurrence of "person of colour" last night. Charles Darwin, The Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, 1845 Edition, Entry for 23rd September 1835: "The inhabitants are between 200 and 300 in number: t...
by Phil White
Sun Mar 27, 2005 10:01 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: tomorrow is another day / tomorrow is a new day
Replies: 23
Views: 8089

tomorrow is another day / tomorrow is a new day

Louis,
Thank you for a very fine link. The entire "book" on the site is well worth reading.
by Phil White
Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:26 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: tomorrow is another day / tomorrow is a new day
Replies: 23
Views: 8089

tomorrow is another day / tomorrow is a new day

Louis, Can you explain why some of us on this forum are treated to being referred to by our surnames only (which at least for many Brits is massively insulting and dismissive) while others are not? As far as your assumptions about my meaning are concerned, read my post carefully again. I don't have ...