Re: Don & doff (was: Natural Order of Events)
|From:||Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, January 29, 2009, 14:37|
From the perspective of someone who is Ray's junior by umpteen years
(20ish?) and on the other side of the Pond, I can confirm that "don"
is not completely obsolete, just archaic/formal. And is in no wise
restricted to hats. If you were in a solemn mood you might speak of a
cleric or judge "donning" his robes of office, for instance.
"Regalia" is certainly something that can be "donned".
But AFAICT "doff" has been specialized to refer to the act of briefly
removing one's topper as a sign of respect. You might doff your cap
when a lady passes, but when you get home, what you do right before
putting it on the hook isn't "doffing", it's just "taking [it] off".
On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 4:12 AM, R A Brown <ray@...> wrote:
Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
> Michael Poxon wrote:
>> In certain lects in Britain, I wouldn't say this pair is actually
>> obsolete, for instance in such phrases as "doffing your cap" to
>> someone. If it is obsolete, then it has only become so within living
> 'don' and 'doff' are not obsolete in Britain - tho their use is
> restricted. The main reason one doesn't hear "doffing your cap" much
> nowadays is, surely, simply because few, if any, now do this.
> When I was at school in the 1950s we were expected to wear caps when in
> school uniform (indeed, not to do so meant punishment) and we were
> expected to at least lift the cap slightly whenever we greeted a grown-up.
> I wouldn't use 'don' of putting on ordinary clothing. It's use IME is
> restricted to putting on special clothing or regalia.
> CENEDL HEB IAITH, CENEDL HEB GALON.
> (A nation without a language is a
> nation without a heart)
> [Welsh proverb]