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Etymons of English Words - Librerie.coop

Etymons of English Words


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€ 57,85
EDITORE Forgotten Books
EAN 9780243657469
CATEGORIA Comunicazione, scrittura e stile
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The English Language is derived from the Gothic and Celtic, chiefly through the Anglo Saxon and French dialects. The object now in contemplation is to trace the probable origin of its words, to mark their adventitious changes, and indicate their principal analogies. The utility of etymological inquiries has been disputed on the ground, that, a precise meaning being once affixed to words, it avails little to know whence they 'originated. This, abstractedly, may be true; but, linked so intimately as they are with the Arts and Sciences, their variations must correspond with the progressive improvement of the human mind, and therefore assume some considerable importance in the History of Man. Even the puerile attempts of this kind which have been admitted into our dictionaries, create a national concern that means should be tried to avert the sneer of foreigners, and remove at least some erroneous ideas, which are always pernicious. The difficulty of such correction is sufficiently evident. Few literary men would be disposed to tread in this humble path; and fewer still, if any, possess knowledge of the ancient and modern languages of Europe adequate to the pursuit. Many years of labour, and no small portion of fortune must be devoted, in this way, without any certainty of success, amidst the numerous contingencies which exclude all rational calcula tion of pecuniary advantage. Fame, the aerial recompense of authors, cannot be expected. If the etymons be at all natural, the difficulties of selecting and compiling them will become less obvious. They offer, at the same time, so Wide a scope to the shafts of criticism, that those who choose to exercise it candidly, will at least, distinguish between the cursory and amusing analysis of particular words, and the toil of wading through a whole vocabulary with no choice of evasion. The task, here prescribed, extends much beyond the usual practice of referring, merely to some cognate term, in German or French, for an English etymon, without pointing further toward a common source; which is little more satisfactory than adducing some difference of pronunciation at York and in London.
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