Tag Archives: language

Caedmon Manuscript


“Old English,” also termed “Anglo-Saxon,” was and is simply the form of the English language that predates the Norman Conquest of 1066. The first line of the earliest poem in Old English, a prayer called “Cædmon’s Hymn,” largely unfamiliar to modern English speakers, offers a taste of this forgotten language: Nu sculon herigean heofonrices weard […]

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The Latin Word for “Breathe” Inspired Many English Terms

The Latin verb spirare, meaning “breathe,” is the source of a number of verbs (and other parts of speech). Here’s a summary of these words and their meanings. Aspire literally means “breathe on”; the connotation is that one breathes heavily with the exertion of aspiring to a goal. The modern sense of aspire is “try […]

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Abbreviations in Science and Technology

Because of the bewildering variety of abbreviations for scientific and technological terms and the inconsistency of treatment, writers and editors are advised to consult with publications like The Chicago Manual of Style or a handbook specific to a scientific discipline or to an industry to confirm standard modes of abbreviation for specific terms. This post […]

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The Word of the Year for 2016

Each year, several major lexicographers release their word of the year—the term that, among the most frequently looked-up words during the previous twelve months, has most prominently captured the zeitgeist. This post discusses the 2016 selections. Merriam-Webster selected surreal, a word apropos for a year in which various seemingly irrational, inexplicable events occurred. The dictionary […]

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Confessioni di un neologista: se metti in magazzino l’effimero, mostra le parole nuove

Articolo di Giovanni Adamo, dirigente di ricerca nell’area linguistica del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche. L’interesse per uno studio sistematico della neologia è relativamente recente: si può collocare negli ultimi decenni del XX secolo, più o meno negli stessi anni nei quali si sviluppa e acquisisce il suo statuto disciplinare la lessicologia, cioè lo studio del […]

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