Re: THEORY: irregular conlangs
|From:||Don Blaheta <dpb@...>|
|Date:||Friday, October 1, 1999, 16:18|
Quoth Sally Caves:
> Nik Taylor wrote:
> > Don Blaheta wrote:
> > > but as words pass from "relatively common" to "only sort of
> > > common", they tend to re-analyse into regular words, anyway.
> > Like "wrought", originally the past tense of "work", but now a seperate
> > verb.
> I don't think it even functions as a full verb any more. It only
> survives in certain expressions as a participle: "wrought iron,"
> or "she was all wrought up."
I think it might be because the word developed multiple meanings.
Nowadays we use "work" just as an intransitive verb, meaning "to exert
oneself towards some (frequently externally-imposed purpose)"; you work
for somebody, you work at a company, you work on a project. But the
word used to have a transitive meaning (as well? instead?) meaning "to
shape an object (by hand or with tools) from a raw, rough form into an
ordered, structured form". You work iron into fences and such; you work
clay into pots and cups. It is this second form that "wrought" still
implies: for instance, wrought-iron contrasts with cast-iron (which is
simply poured into a shape).
A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest
in students. -- John Ciardi