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From:Edward Heil <edheil@...>
Date:Friday, March 12, 1999, 15:35
>What does este'tica mean? The opposite of aesthetic? Is there an
>to aesthetic? The English term is used to refer to a style, mood, or >feeling, usually in reference to some artistic endeavour. It's not a
>used in daily discourse, and its exact meaning is unclear to many
>Like me.
Aesthetic has to do with fine feelings (usually those produced by something beautiful); its opposite, anaesthetic, has to do with a complete lack of feelings. "Opposite" in a loose sense of course. :) This is an interesting example of how meaning becomes specialized. The Greek "aesthet-" had to do with feeling in general, not just perception of beauty, and so "anaesthetic" would be a natural opposite. But since "aesthetic" has become so specialized, "anaesthetic" no longer seems like a proper opposite to it. By the way, Greek [aI] became Latin [aE], which became Proto-Romance [e:] which became Spanish [e] which is why it's "estetica" in Spanish. The [a] in front of it looks like the Greek alpha-privative to a Spanish speaker, but of course a proper alpha-privative in front of a word that starts with a vowel would have an epenthetic nu -- as in "anaesthetic." Ed Get Your Private, Free Email at