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Joined: June 19, 2011
Comments posted: 616
Votes received: 279

Native English speaker. Conversant in German, Russian, Spanish, and Anglo-Saxon.

Ferþu Hal!

I hav a pilot's license (SEL certificate); I'm a certified diver (NAUI); I'v skydived and was qualified as a paratrooper in the Army (Airborne!); I was a soldier (MI, Armor, Engineer).

I workt for a corporation, was a law enforcement officer, and a business owner.

Bachelor's in Finance; minor in Economics Masters of Aeronautical Sciences

Strong backer of English spelling reform.


Now I'v written my first novel [ ] and I'm working on others.

Questions Submitted

What can I do besides...

October 8, 2011

Recent Comments

More often than not, when a vowel is follow'd by an 'e', it shows that the first vowel is long ... foe, Gaelic, maelstrom ... when it doesn't (as in does), it can be befuddling to anyone who doesn't know the word.

I see not reason for the 'o' in the British way of spelling maneuver (Br: manoeuver). It does nothing. The 'eu' shows the 'oo' sound məˈno͞ovər. What does the 'o' do for it?

@WW, I hav to disagree without about foreigners not having trouble with English spelling. I think that you're likely seeing the ones who hav spent years and hav been willing to put in the time for the rote memorization of oddball English spellings. As an expat living in non-English speaking land, I can tell you that I see many, many beginners who are more than frustrated by the spelling of English. There are many here who hav spent four and five years studying English yet will not speak English to me for that they are unsure of how to say the words! They also make many spelling mistakes if they are bold enuff to write in English.

And Jayles is right ... Most folks will spell the way the spellchecker tells them too. Before the days of spellcheckers, I had to fix the spellings of many college students (nativ speakers) when proofreading. If you note OpenOffice, it will auto-fix many wrong spellings on the fly! So you don't even need to get them right the first time, the software will fix the word as you type.

Do we need 'oe' and 'ae' for the long ē sound? No, we don't. As you pointed out, most of these are alreddy gone in American spellings. And, btw, the 'e' in archeology is long ˌärkēˈäləjē. There's no diphthong there so the 'o' is not needed.

AnWulf April 23, 2014, 3:07pm

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I assume that you're talking about the letters æ and œ. The problem is that they show a sound that is alreddy shown by other letters and diphthongs. Thus they aren't needed for the long ē.

In the IPA the æ is noted to show the flat a as in ash ... which is the name of the letter. This happens to be an Old English note of the letter as well. In OE 'at' was 'æt', 'path', 'pæþ' þ=th.

If the letter were noted for this sound, I would be all for it. But for the long ē, let it go.

AnWulf April 15, 2014, 10:59am

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@jayles ... frame is a noteful word.

The drawsbacks outweigh the good ... the boon ... the worth ... the rewards (ward is Teut.) ... the gain ...

AnWulf April 4, 2014, 1:51am

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@jayles ... Did you mean "freme"? The word fremful means beneficial, useful, effectiv.

Most of the words that meant "benefit, advantage, profit" in OE didn't make it. The word "good" can often be put in or "behoof" for the noun.

AnWulf April 3, 2014, 9:26pm

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@Jayles, benefit in ME was ... benefit ... also benefet. As for behoove (v)/behoof (n)... that's a long tale about how it was noted. But to answer your frain, yes, in ME it was noted in the first person: If thou gif me I behoued [rime: foode] ... Here it means "need, require".

But think about it, we don't often note 'benefit' aside from third person ... it would benefit/behoove you to learn this. It is of benefit/behoof to us all.

Or as in the past tense (as in the ME byspel above): I benefited/behoovd. ... Or ... It was a benefit/behoof to me.

AnWulf March 24, 2014, 4:12pm

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Another reason that English got swampt by Latinates is that many thought that Latin was the mother tung!

There was a general idea among many that all English was derived from Latin, for no better reason than because this was true of many borrowed words; … Skeat, p57, Sci. of Etymo.

Of this I am certain, that the Celtic and Armoric, and even the Sanskrit identities, are very often nothing but Latin itself, pura puta Latina vox. Thus the Armoric Pirgrin and Relizhon must be corruptions of Peregrinus and Religionis, the Cornish Paun of Pavonis, and the German Ente of Anatis: … So the Northern Recht, Richt, Right, are from the Latin Rectus, … Valpy, pA3, "Virgilian Hours"

AnWulf March 7, 2014, 8:25am

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Thanks Jasper but the 2nd 'cash' that is on the link is from Tamil thru Portuguese ... A coin of low value from China, southern India, or SE Asia. ... It also came into English in the late 1500s. Now that you'v shown me that the 'cash' ... supposedly from the French ... came in the tung in 1596 ... Well, that's pretty late!

So now the frain is when did the 'cash' from Tamil ... meaning a coin ... make it's first showing?Well, we known that the Oxfd Dict Online (ODO) says "late 16th Century" ... Can't get much later than the 1596 of the supposed French/Italian upspring of 'cash'. My thoughts are that the Tamil 'cash' is the true root. The ODO says that the Tamil rooted 'cash' was swayd by the French rooted 'cash'. I was looking for any hard proof of that. It looks more like they had two choices and went with the French for the till as the root rather than the Tamil which truly meant money.

AnWulf March 6, 2014, 6:37pm

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@Jasper, here is word that falls into that dead space between ME and the 1800s ... cash. The Oxford Dict. Online has two roots ( ... both coming into English as the "late 16th century) ... I'd like to know if which shows up first in the OED ... that is, if one can tell clearly from the meanings. Thanks

AnWulf February 18, 2014, 7:06am

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I'v always he(a)rd it said both ways and I hav said it both ways. I don't think that it is anything new.

As for spelling, as most of you know, I back spelling reform. Not in a radical way but to moov towards a better showing of how the word is said and for the letters to be noted in a more consistent, steddier way. Spelling of English words has always been and likely always will be in flux.

There are many and sundry reasons that we should do so but the one that slaps me in the face so often is how many folks I hav met who hav study'd English for four or five years yet will not utter a word to me for fear of saying them wrong ... They are that unsure of how to say the words. My gess (ME gessen) is that for every one that works hard to learn our nearly hieroglyphic way of writing is that two or three ... or more ... throw of their hands in frustration.

The best byspel of this is -ough.

Though the rough cough and hiccough plough me through,
O'er life's dark lough I ought my way pursue.
— 1842, Horace Mann, first Commissioner of Education of Massachusetts, publish'd this to show the problems in putting sounds to spellings in English.

By changing the way of saying the 8 "-ough" words noting their own analogies, this ditty can be said in 8 to the 8th power (16,777,216) nother ways! … Only ONE of which (hwich) is right!

Care to take a guess as to how to say clough and slough? (There are two ways to say slough hanging on the meaning!)

Luckily, sum of these words hav alreddy either chanj'd or hav alternativs. Thru, hiccup, plow, and loch are common. Ruff is gaining sum traction. Coff is still on the frinjes but seen.

AnWulf January 28, 2014, 9:19am

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One more thing ... and it's been brought up before. The OED often stops ... by its only policy ... at Middle English starting in the year 1150. Thus is misses that "peace" first came into English in Late OE in 1135. The word still wasn't needed as the OE had both frith and grith ... but the OED puts the word as coming into English in ME and not LOE.

peace – pais – peace [from Old French pais, from Latin pax, pac- ‘peace’] LOE: Pais he makede men and dær. … AS Chronicles, 1135

AnWulf January 17, 2014, 6:13am

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@Jasper, yes the full OED has lots of quotes which help with the witt (sense) of how the word was being noted. They keep that behind their subscription firewall. Thanks for the offer ... and feel free to chime in with quotes from it when a word comes up here.

The guy at Etymonline is friendly. If you can show him some kind of reference, he'll look it over. He's not into gessing ... He follows the path blaze'd by others. He has a reference for every word that he has done. But in the end, he ... like others ... has to make a choice and makes that choice rooted on the references. So if most of the references say that X has a Latin root, that is what he puts.

As always, the further back one goes, the murkier it gets. Then, as you said, there are cognates and sometimes the cognates are so near to one another that it truly can be a eenie-meenie-mighty-moe pick as to whether the root is Latin or Teut. ... like OHG trahton (not a Latinate ... Kluge) and Latin tractus ... so from whence OE traht? I think it's Teut. but others say it was borrow'd from Latin. Fall (OE fallan, feallan) and falter are Teut. ... fail, fault are Latin from fallere. Those are near to each other that one could beget the same words. ... Who knew that OE and ME elend, elend 'foreign' and English 'else' hav the same PIE root *el 'beyond, other' as Latin alien and alias, alius? That's why I'v started blogging some of these.

I do what I can with others like the MED (Middle Eng. Dict.) which is fully online and is free ... as is B-T Anglo-Saxon. Lots of byspels in those two. The gap comes after ME til about 1800 ... There are lots of old books (free) in Google Books ... some seekful ... some not. Gutenburg and are great but you hav to know which book you're looking for ... you can't do a word seek on their database (kenbit-stow?) ... However, once you know which book you want to look in, you can do an online word-seek. There are other spots to look ... BYU has an amazing gathering of writings that is online but there are scannos so one still must be careful. Even with all those, it's still often hard to find a word that is found in old wordbooks (huru wordbooks of old words and provincial words) to see how it might hav been noted.

As for the French ... and the Spanish hav a like academy ... well, they're having about as much luck as the gainsayers did against the inkhorn words. For now, it's English's time in the sun and the world is sucking up English words all over. I spend a lot of time in S. America. Only yestern, I saw a gal with a t-shirt at the pizza shop with a shirt that read "on (heart) the flight" ... I wasn't truly gewiss as to what it meant. I think it meant something like "on the love boat" but I see that often here ... they make shirts with English on them ... and often bad English! Many goods and wares here are in English ... I saw in the pet shop yestern a bottle with something for cows to ward off bugs label'd as "pour-on".

Sorry for the long post ... I got a little carry'd away!

AnWulf January 17, 2014, 6:03am

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When about half of French is Anglo-Teutonish English, then they can whinge ... Look at the headline below ... It's mostly latinates.

Drop these ugly Anglicisms ASAP, urge French language police
Académie Française condemns use of abbreviation of as soon as possible, and adoption of score as a verb

AnWulf January 16, 2014, 7:13pm

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Richard Chenevix Trench in "English Past and Present" writes: ... they were made to drop their foreign termination, or otherwise their foreign appearance, to conform themselves to English ways, and only so were finally incorporated into the great family of English words.

Thus a word is not truly English til it loses it foreign look.

To WW's list, I'd add other words like 'czar' ... in Russian, the plural is 'czari' (цари́) and the genitiv ... 'czar's' is 'czarya' (царя́) ... There were two czari and the men czarya (the czar's men) ... The administration's last two health czari ...

Naw, they don't hit the ears right. Once a word is fully English'd, it should take an English plural. Learning the sundry plural shapes from sundry tungs would be great, big pain in the ass ... Not gonna do it!

AnWulf January 16, 2014, 1:44pm

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@JLB ... Answer one of her emails with the mistake in it ... only send it to her and not anyone else. Softly tell her that you believe this to be a mistake but if she thinks it is good English then to please cite her source for saying so. Otherwise she should stop writing it when she sends out emails to the parents. Don't jump on her and tell her how you were taught ... blah, blah, blah ... You're trying to get to take a look at the mistake and stop doing rather than put her on the defensiv.

AnWulf January 16, 2014, 1:03pm

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Etymonline takes a truly wary, chary way ... The writer isn't an etymologist himself, he only writes what can be found in other works. So, if you can find another upspring for a word ... then you can write him and send him the info. He often goes deeper than many and givs other tidbits that are often found. Even tho he is wary, and I may not hold with what he has, he has, nonetheless, done an amazing job.

But rather than whinge about other's works ... and there is lot to whinge about ... I'v started writing blogs call'd "Latin or Teutonish" where I lay what I know of a word and how etym of the word my go another way than most. Like Etymonline, I am not an etymologist. And I can only go by what I hav found free online (I don't hav a subscription to the OED) so there are gaps in what I know ...

Once you start reading sundry books on the etyms of words, you begin to acknow how much the writers don't truly know ... and can't truly know. They build witcrafty (logical) reasons rooted on sundry things such as when did the word first show up, the meaning, the sound, and does any sound chanj match the held philological chanj ... so on and so forth. Even with all that, it can be mighty murky with words.

And they're not steady with their analysis ... they don't always put the analysis in the same way to all words ... but then "they" is not one but many folks so while one might amazingly giv a word an Anglo-Teut. root; another, in the same kind of circumstance, will giv it a Latin root. Read some of Skeat's analyses. In the body of his work, he might giv a word a Teut. root but then chanj his mind in the addendum and giv it a Latin root. Sometimes his witcraft is spot on ... other times it is rambling and lacking ... but always fetching.

AnWulf January 16, 2014, 12:56pm

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It means that you hav two and only two choices rather than say three choices ... three choosings ... three picks. As WW said, choice also means option.

AnWulf December 13, 2013, 2:13pm

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I feel your pain ... your akes ... your wrack (wrack in OE also meant pain ... pain was also pine [from Latin] ... same word, pain is a doublet that came thru French). I hav a lot of Hispanic frends that I help and I to speed them along, I giv them all the latinates that match up with the Spanish words.

But for my Asian frends, I think the latinates befuddles them sometimes if they haven't alreddy learnd a Romance tung.

AnWulf December 5, 2013, 6:52am

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@Jayles ... good words for progress (the noun) are headway and strides; wakefulness also works for insomnia or saying, "I was restless."

I don't think that not knowing which latinates were in OE forholds folks. Everyone has to find out how deep they can go or want to go. However, can often work about the ones that were in OE as well. "Sake" in OE and ME had the meaning of "cause, case (legal)" so a hardcore Anglisher could swap in "sake" for "case" (in the legal witt) but now we're treading on unknown land for those who, sadly, lack a knowledge of older words or older meanings seldom noted.

Sadly also, the OED is often wrong in their etyms but then, out of the blue, matches up one that I wouldn't think it would hav otherwise. Anyway, I hav made a list of OE latinates and posted it. Truthfully, two lists. One list was too long for blogspot to take so I had to break it into two. The list grows a bit almost every week as I find more words or more info on the words that I hav.

AnWulf December 4, 2013, 5:37pm

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huswifely - (adj) capable; economical; prudent (adv) capably; economically; prudently. ...

huswife - (verb) to manage with frugality

Liken to "economics": Greek oikonomikos, from oikonomia. Originally a noun, based on oikos ‘house’ (cognate with Latin vicus "district", vicinus "near"; Old English wic "dwelling, village") + nemein ‘manage’, the word denoted household management or a person skilled in this, hence the early sense of the adjective (late 16th cent.) ‘relating to household management’.

AnWulf December 4, 2013, 1:21pm

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@HS ... ok, I'll bite. The threshold for Latinates ... for most Anglishers ... is when the Normans took over. Latinates in OE are given a by as they are thought of as mostly from the natural growth of the tung. After the Takeover, they're taken "case by case". And this isn't the same for all Anglishers.

Indeed, believ it or not, I'm one of the looser ones. If I find the root in OE or a Teutonish tung, then it is good to go for me even if it has gain'd other meanings over time.

Case, meaning a box, is found in OE as 'cæpse' from Latin 'capsa' ... the root for case and for capsule. For me, this is good enuff for both. Encase is nothing more than 'in' + 'case'. 'In' (en) is found both in Romanish (Latin) and the Teutonish tungs.

As it so happens, 'case', meaning a grammatical case, is also found in OE. So both meanings of 'case' are found in OE. From this 'case' also comes the meaning 'case' is in a 'legal case'.

While we can put the spelling changes off on French, that is a small thing given that even many Anglo words hav undergone a great deal of spelling changes over time and not all (but sum) owing to the French spelling.

Showcase is a Anglo-Latin blend with the root of the Latinate half found in OE.

There, feel better now about it? LOL

AnWulf November 25, 2013, 5:15pm

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