|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, September 13, 2007, 7:03|
Andreas Johansson wrote:
> Mark J. Reed wrote:[snip]
>>> > So then I guess "Elektra" is the plural of "electron"?
>> Nope - but _criterion ~ criteria_ does work.
>>Although "electron" is taken from Greek, it does not keep anything
>>resembling its Greek meaning, which was _amber_ or, indeed, 'electron'
>>in the sense of "an alloy of gold and silver" (a more ancient use than
>>the naming of a sub-atomic particle).
> I'd always assumed "electron" as the name of the particle was a back-formation
> from "electric" etc, and the American Heritage Dictionary indeed gives this
From the bound morpheme _electr(o)- I guess.
> They further tell that the ending "-on" is extrapolated from "ion", which in
> turn apparently is a greek present participle "(smth) that goes", from _ienai_
> "to go".
Maybe - the etymologies in my dictionary are far too brief. It does
suggest that's its a re-use of the word _electron_ on analogy with ion,
proton etc. If, indeed, the -on at the end of _electron_ meaning a
sub-atomic particle is extrapolated from _ion_, then the 'plural' of
_electron_ is most certainly *not* _electra_ - it would be *electronta :)
Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.