Re: On prescriptions and misunderstanding: was can/may
|From:||And Rosta <a.rosta@...>|
|Date:||Monday, January 3, 2005, 17:04|
> > Hm. When I think of literary coinage I tend to think of Carroll, not
> > Shakespeare. I had no idea that he invented the word "obscene", for
> > instance. Very interesting!
> He appropriated it. He appropriated and adapted over a thousand words
> that have become standard in the English language now. Other writers
> were doing the same, but they didn't have the popularity that
> Shakespeare did.
> Some of Shakespeare's inkhorn terms:
> agile, antipathy, apostrophe, assassination, catastrophe, critical,
> demonstrate, dextrously, dire, emphasis, emulate, expostulation, extract,
> frugal, hereditary, horrid, indistinguishable, meditate, misanthrope,
> modest, obscene, prodigious, vast (I quote from Baugh/Cable, _A History of
> the English Language_). Also, from the Romance languages: armada,
> barricade, cavalier, mutiny, pell-mell, etc; and this is just the tip ofthe
I'm skeptical about attributing most of these to Shakespeare, since
once the inkhorn principle (viz. Latin & Greek count as English) was
establish, they were all latent in English, and available for use
by anybody. The first active use of these words might have been
by someone other than Shakespeare, and later usages would not
necessarily have been mediated by Shakespeare's use.
> >From Thomas More, a century earlier, we get:
> absurdity, acceptance, anticipate, combustible, compativle,comprehensible,
> damnability, denunciation, detector, dissipate, exact, exaggerate, and so
> Rejected or now discontinued neologisms:
> adminiculation (aid), attemptate (attempt), cautionate (warn), demit (send
> away), difficile (difficult), eximious ("excellent"--I've seen this as a
> name for a British catalogue), exorbitate (stray), illecebrous (alluring),
> ostent (show), and a host of others.
> Some of these I think we should bring back! I'm especially fond of
> "temulent" (drunk), and mansuetude ("mildness"). Adminiculation has a
> certain ring to it, too.
Discontinued? Eximious & mansuetude are in my everyday active vocabulary,
& both are in the dictionary I have to hand (tho admittedly, it is the
OED). I should Google to see whether I am alone in this: I find a
handful of hits for "is/are eximious" & scores of pukka hits for