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Re: Weekly Vocab 6: to know

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Thursday, May 8, 2003, 15:36
Adam Walker wrote:
(snip list of impossible infinitives of Engl. modals, which AFAIK are all
alive and well in the other Germanic and Romance langs.)

> All of them utterly unacceptable except _to can_, > which then means "to preserve in a can or jar" or "to > shut up" and _to will_, which then means "To do by > force of mind" or "to give by testament". >
"To can" of course, is in no way related to "can, be able"; but the two meanings of "to will" probably do preserve someting of the original sense, "to want to, to wish" (cf. Germ. wollen). The 'testament' sense would not have occurred to me, either, but I have just been working with an Indonesian wordlist where "last will" is glossed as "wish of a dying person" kehendak orang hampir mati