Semantic Antics: How and Why Words Change Meaning
by Sol Steinmetz
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Publisher: Random House
Size: 8vo-over 7Â¾"-9Â¾" tall; Type: Ex-Library First Printing. Hardcover Ex-Lib Book and Dust jacket in Good Condition. Except for minimal library marks, the book in clean, unmarked, no wear to extremities, internals pristine. Dust jacket has lib sticker, is clean and unmarked, appears lightly rubbed under mylar cover, no wear to extremities, unclipped. Many common English words had different meanings at different times in history. Changes in meaning make language flexible but how do they take on new meanings? This book explores how this happens. The study of meanings and changes of meaning that words undergo is called "semantics" and the study of the origins of words is "etymology". For example, "litter", as we know it, is scattered rubbish, trash. Originally (before 1300) the word meant a "bed" and was borrowed through Old French "litiere" from Latin "lectus: , a bed. Then its meaning became extended to "a bedding, esp one made of straw and rushes" and then to linclude straw litter for the stable, and then to a litter of pups, and so on. This is how words evolve, their meaning is expanded, made more specific, transferred, influenced by psychological reasons, historical reasons, foreign influences, etc. Most interesting. Include A-Z entires, Glossary of Names and Terms, Sources, About the Author. xiii plus 273 pages. 7.5 x 5 inches. Random House, new York, 2008.