For many people, etymology is the most attractive part of a dictionary. Surely, people like to talk about the roots and origins of a word and prefer to discuss this branch of study instead of grammatics and pronunciation. The problem is that this interest is reduced to word etymologies which are connected to interesting or funny stories and not to those ones who are not that spectacular which are certainly the most. Landau mentions that etymology has least to do with the purpose of a synchronic dictionary. Often, the history and etymology of a word does not help us to understand its meaning today but can be quite misleading (Landau 1984, p.98). The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), a diachronic dictionary, is famous for its focus on the history of a word. It informs us about when a word was first used and gives us important information about its form and meaning and its changes over the course of history. Landau states:
Synchronic dictionaries often omit or neglect etymology because it is not central to their purposes, so do bilingual dictionaries or dictionaries for English as a second language. It would not be useful to fill the space of a bilingual dictionary with such things because it is neither necessary for a better understanding of the language nor does it give any useful information for its practical use. Etymology is mostly dealt with in works for native speakers. The main purpose and positive characteristic of etymologies is that they show that language is always in change and that they create interest in a reader to occupy himself with the history of his language (Landau 1984, p.102-104)
1. Try to find out more about the year of the first usage of the following words in the English language with the help of the OED or the internet! Be careful when using internet sources! Are they serious? Who is responsible for the content of the website?
The following links could help:
There are many more possibilities to find out something about a word` s etymology, search in the internet or in the university library!
DON`T CHEAT YOURSELVES AND TRY TO FIND OWN RESULTS BEFORE LOOKING UP THE ANSWER!
2. Try to find out more about the etymology of the following words with “The Barnhart Dictionary of etymology” or via internet! Be careful when using internet sources! Are they serious? Who is responsible for the content of the website?
You will find the Barnhart Dictionary under the following signature in the "Alte Münze library": DER K 2501 691! If you want to use the internet, try to work with the given links above or search for yourselves!
DON`T CHEAT YOURSELVES AND TRY TO FIND OWNRESULTS BEFORE LOOKING UP THE ANSWER!