Elegaic, Word or Not?

Discuss word origins and meanings.

Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Me RedFire » Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:23 pm

I just don't get this!

http://onelook.com/index.html

put in the word elegaic

says not in ANY dictionary??????

put elegaic in google

comes up several pages,... many references,.. but NO clear cut dictionary MEANING or pronounciation, you can
kinda come up with the meaning, but not precise,.. all gathered from inflection,.. ?????

IS THIS A WORD????? OR IS THIS NOT A WORD?????

I want to know the answer,.. this is driving me nuts..

me, all wet from sweatin' this one out
Post actions:

Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:31 pm

Your problem is down to a simple but common spelling error; the word is 'elegiac', not 'elegaic'.
Post actions:
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by russcable » Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:52 pm

Me,
While you're looking things up in the dictionaries, you should look up "inflection".
"Inflection" in regards to language is either changing the tone or pitch of your voice or changing the spelling of a word to indicate gender (actor/actress), verb tense (run/ran), etc. I think you are talking about "context" in this post.
Post actions:

Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Me RedFire » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:02 pm

Sorry 'bout that Russ, but that is exactly what I meant,.
gathered from the tone or mood of the paragraph, which may
be sad, rhythmic, pensive, etc.
i.e. the Tone of the paragraph (may) would give you the 'hint'
of what the word might mean, hence the inflected meaning.
This was not appropriate I am sure, thanks for pointing that out.

Better usuage may have been to say the inferential meaning gathered
from the paragraph yes??

kudos with gratitude, Me
Post actions:

Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:13 pm

Just to cloud the issue, I bet Ken's got a dictionary of smoke-signals.
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Manateena » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:50 am

I am of the opinion that "elegaic" is a word and that its spelling is proper. I am an associate professor of English at an all-women's college (Keats, Wordsworth, and Milton) and this was recently the subject of a spirited debate among my students. Not only is "elegaic" written in the tombs of old, but it is also the spelling of choice for my 18-22 year old female students. Also, anyone see that Jeopardy episode where that one contestant lost Final Jeopardy for spelling "elegaic" instead of "elegiac"? That was messed up.
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:44 am

Manateena, I see that you are not only determined to argue with established facts: you and some of your students have apparently also refused to check whether your arguments are valid. Dictionaries exist partly for the purpose of checking accepted spellings, yet you appear to have ignored them, despite the fact that as a teacher you ought to know better. The reality of a fact is not made more real merely by insisting on it.
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Mr. MaGoo » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:21 pm

I have long struggled with this word as well and I think that 'elegaic' is likely an acceptable alternate spelling of elegiac.

As far as 'established facts' . . . there is more to language obviously than dictionaries. Words and their meaning are living, breathing things and just because the word has been lost does not mean it never existed.

Magoo
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:29 pm

If enough people use a particular spelling for long enough, it eventually becomes accepted as a de facto variant spelling, at which point dictionaries will start including it. But I see no evidence that this is happening with elegaic.
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Mr. MaGoo » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:47 pm

Well but what if elegaic became a word due to constant and consistent usage, and then somebody somewhere decided one day that it wasn't a word, or that it was a word but they didn't like it, and so they took it out of all of the dictionaries at the same time? That's what I think might have happened here. Magoo
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:41 pm

That makes no sense, Mr. MaGoo. If what you said was accurate, there would be a large number of archaic texts containing the spelling elegaic, and lots of dictionaries in which that spelling used to be listed but which have since dropped it. Neither case is true.

Your posting ends, "That's what I think might have happened here". Why only think it if you can prove it? So — show me the evidence of the conspiracy you have alleged, and we can go from there. To do a really thorough job, you would also show why such a conspiracy came about; in other words, what motivated it?
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Mr. MaGoo » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:29 pm

What is a fact is that it could have happened just like I said. Nobody knows what happened to the word. Really all we can do is speculate about where it went.
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Mr. MaGoo » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:00 pm

Manateena - what part of the country are you and your students located? I would love to stop by some time and sit in on one of your classes. You sound like a fabulous teacher. Perhaps you can PM me and we can set something up. Magoo
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Manateena » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:07 pm

"Elegaic" is a fine word and one that I've encountered frequently in prose. But Mr. MaGoo's theory sounds like some of the excuses my more creative students use when their papers are overrun with typos. And I am a professor, not a teacher.
Post actions:

Re: Elegaic, Word or Not?

Post by Mr. MaGoo » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:25 pm

I agree that the word (elegaic) is so commonly used that it is a word regardless of what the puppet masters and their big books say. A Witggenstinian construction but one I believe is as real and factual as anything else I've seen. Magoo
Post actions:

Post Reply