My dear friends, Know you what today is? It is September 24th, one year after I published Remembered Lore! I will reveal the significance of this date in a moment, but first let us toss some autumn leaves into the air to celebrate a year of myth re-found, words re-learned, and golden drafts of poetry … Continue reading A Light on the Road
I have attempted before to describe my remarkable experience of learning Latin and how it revolutionized my perspective on language-learning. All this was due to the way I was taught: submersion in the language itself. No toe-dipping---complete submersion, head and all. The book I was taught from was Hans Ørberg’s Lingua Latina. Lingua Latina uses … Continue reading The Rubicon of Language-Learning
Wherefore is one of those archaic words that is not yet quite obsolete. It is young enough that many people have heard of it, but old enough that many have forgotten what it means. It has survived mainly in the phrase “the whys and wherefores,” and in Juliet’s immortal line, “wherefore art thou Romeo?”1 Wherefore … Continue reading The Why of Wherefore
Here hunts heron. Here haunts heron. / Huge-hinged heron. Grey-winged weapon. / Eked from iron and wreaked from blue and / beaked with steal: heron, statue, seeks eel...
I would beg to argue that it is only in studying other languages that one can gain appreciation for how specific words can be. I was recently reading an article in The Guardian by Robert Macfarlane in which he listed several Gaelic1 words and their meanings. I was awed to utter gleeful delight in how … Continue reading A Gleeful Ramble on the Specificity of Gaelic Words
The word comfort is often used as a synonym for solace. When one comforts another, perhaps one who is grieving, he will possibly offer perspective or encouragement, or stand by him as a companion or friend, acknowledging their grief. But comfort has not always had this connotation. Etymologically, comfort means “to strengthen greatly.” Comfort is … Continue reading On “Comfort”
It is common in western culture to depict the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as an apple. However, a brief flip through Genesis will confirm that the forbidden fruit remains anonymous; there is no mention of an apple nor any other fruit. The universal use of the apple results … Continue reading The Malum Malum Presents Its Case
Convivial is one of those words whose etymology I discovered in a slightly backward fashion. I learned the Latin root word first (in situ while studying Latin) and then the etymology of the Latin word before I even recognised the English cognate. This is possibly one of the best ways to learn the etymology of … Continue reading Convivial: An English Word with an Elvish Meaning
Here, friends, is the post on skriking, which I mentioned bore writing in Rereading The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings, Part 1. Prior to writing this post, I had not the faintest idea of what skrike meant, though I could glean a general sense from its context in The Hobbit. As for its etymology ...
Provision is composed of two Latin words: pro ‘ahead’ or ‘forward’, and videre ‘to see’. Thus provision means ‘to see ahead’. But this is not the meaning as it is used in modern English. When one says ‘provision’ he refers to the food and supplies needed for a journey...