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The definition of “Words” spoken by [a] man may not be the same as the definition assigned to those words by the hearer i.e. a “Man In Black“.
Example: Words offered by [a] man in court may be accepted as Terms by the Man in Black … and the more we speak, the more likely it is we will contradict ourselves without knowing we have done so thus leaving the Man in Black to determine what we intended by the utterances he heard. To avoid confusion, [a] man might hold his tongue and submit all he seeks to communicate to a court in written form.
For further study see:
“Weird Al” Yankovik – Word Crimes
The following words are listed as an example of how sloppy we have become in thought and speech which is then reflected in our inability to write.
idiotic (adj.) 1713, from Late Latin idioticus “uneducated, ignorant,” in classical Latin, “of an ordinary person,” from Greek idiotikos “unprofessional, unskilled; not done by rules of art, unprofessional,” from idiotes (see idiot). Idiotical is from 1640s. Related: Idiotically.
idiot (n.) early 14c., “person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning;” also in Middle English “simple man, uneducated person, layman” (late 14c.), from Old French idiote “uneducated or ignorant person” (12c.), from Latin idiota “ordinary person, layman; outsider,” in Late Latin “uneducated or ignorant person,” from Greek idiotes “layman, person lacking professional skill” (opposed to writer, soldier, skilled workman), literally “private person (as opposed to one taking part in public affairs),” used patronizingly for “ignorant person,” from idios “one’s own” (see idiom).
Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. [Mark Twain, c.1882]
novation (n.) “replacement of an old obligation by a new one,” 1530s, from Latin novationem (nominative novatio) “a making new, renewal,” noun of action from past participle stem of novare “make new,” from novus “new” (see new).
word (n.) Old English word “speech, talk, utterance, sentence, statement, news, report, word,” from Proto-Germanic *wurdan (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian word, Dutch woord, Old High German, German wort, Old Norse orð, Gothic waurd), from PIE *were- (3) “speak, say” (see verb).
The meaning “promise” was in Old English, as was the theological sense. In the plural, the meaning “verbal altercation” (as in to have words with someone) dates from mid-15c. Word processor first recorded 1971; word processing is from 1972; word wrap is from 1977. A word to the wise is from Latin phrase verbum sapienti satis est “a word to the wise is enough.” Word-for-word is late 14c. Word of mouth is recorded from 1550s.
It is dangerous to leave written that which is badly written. A chance word, upon paper, may destroy the world. Watch carefully and erase, while the power is still yours, I say to myself, for all that is put down, once it escapes, may rot its way into a thousand minds, the corn become a black smut, and all libraries, of necessity, be burned to the ground as a consequence. [William Carlos Williams, “Paterson”]
Do you want to play questions?
funny (adj.) “humorous,” 1756, from fun + -y (2). Meaning “strange, odd” is 1806, said to be originally U.S. Southern. The two senses of the word led to the retort question “funny ha-ha or funny peculiar,” which is attested from 1916. Related: Funnier; funniest. Funny farm “mental hospital” is slang from 1962. Funny bone “elbow end of the humerus” is 1826; funnies “newspaper comic strips” is from 1852.
guest (n.) Old English gæst, giest (Anglian gest) “guest; enemy; stranger,” the common notion being “stranger,” from Proto-Germanic *gastiz (cognates: Old Frisian jest, Dutch gast, German Gast, Gothic gasts “guest,” originally “stranger”), from PIE root *ghos-ti- “stranger, guest; host” (cognates: Latin hostis “enemy,” hospes “host” — from *hosti-potis “host, guest,” originally “lord of strangers” — Greek xenos “guest, host, stranger;” Old Church Slavonic gosti “guest, friend,” gospodi “lord, master”); the root sense, according to Watkins, probably is “someone with whom one has reciprocal duties of hospitality,” representing “a mutual exchange relationship highly important to ancient Indo-European society.” But as strangers are potential enemies as well as guests, the word has a forked path.
larceny (n.) late 15c., with -y (3) + Anglo-French larcin (late 13c.), from Old French larrecin, larcin “theft, robbery” (11c.), from Latin latrocinium “robbery, freebooting, highway-robbery, piracy,” from latro “robber, bandit,” also “hireling, mercenary,” ultimately from a Greek source akin to latron “pay, hire, wages,” from a suffixed form of PIE root *le- (1) “to get.”
theft (n.) mid-13c., from Old English þeofð (West Saxon þiefð) “theft,” from Proto-Germanic *theubitho (cognates: Old Frisian thiufthe, Old Norse þyfð), from *theubaz “thief” (see thief) + abstract formative suffix *-itha (cognate with Latin -itatem; see -th (2)).
farm (n.) c.1300, “fixed payment (usually in exchange for taxes collected, etc.), fixed rent,” from Old French ferme “rent, lease,” from Medieval Latin firma “fixed payment,” from Latin firmare “to fix, settle, confirm, strengthen,” from firmus “firm” (see firm (adj.)).
Sense of “tract of leased land” is first recorded early 14c.; that of “cultivated land” (leased or not) is 1520s. Phrase buy the farm “die in battle,” is at least from World War II, perhaps a cynical reference to the draftee’s dream of getting out of the war and going home, in many cases to a peaceful farmstead. But fetch the farm is prisoner slang from at least 1879 for “get sent to the infirmary,” with reference to the better diet and lighter duties there.
farmer (n.) late 14c., “one who collects taxes, etc.,” from Anglo-French fermer, French fermier, from Medieval Latin firmarius, from firma (see farm (n.)). In the agricultural sense, 1590s, replacing native churl and husbandman.
court (n.) late 12c., from Old French cort (11c., Modern French cour) “king’s court, princely residence,” from Latin cortem, accusative of cors (earlier cohors) “enclosed yard,” and by extension (and perhaps by association with curia “sovereign’s assembly”), “those assembled in the yard; company, cohort,” from com- “together” (see com-) + stem hort- related to hortus “garden, plot of ground” (see yard (n.1)). Sporting sense is from 1510s, originally of tennis. Legal meaning is from late 13c. (early assemblies for justice were overseen by the sovereign personally).
prosecutor (n.) 1590s, from Medieval Latin prosecutor, agent noun from prosequi (see prosecute). Specific legal sense of “one who brings a case in a court of law” is from 1620s; earlier such a person was a promoter (late 15c.). Related: Prosecutorial.
offer (v.) Old English ofrian “to offer, show, exhibit, sacrifice, bring an oblation,” from Latin offerre “to present, bestow, bring before” (in Late Latin “to present in worship”), from ob “to” (see ob-) + ferre “to bring, to carry” (see infer). The Latin word was borrowed elsewhere in Germanic: Old Frisian offria, Middle Dutch offeren, Old Norse offra. Non-religious sense reinforced by Old French offrir “to offer,” from Latin offerre. Related: Offered; offering.
offering (n.) late Old English offrung “the presenting of something to a deity; a thing so presented,” verbal noun from offrian (see offer (v.)). Of presentations to a person from mid-15c.; to the public from 1834.
claim (n.) early 14c., “a demand of a right; right of claiming,” from Old French claime “claim, complaint,” from clamer (see claim (v.)). Meaning “thing claimed or demanded” is from 1792; specifically “piece of land allotted and taken” (chiefly U.S. and Australia, in reference to mining) is from 1851. Insurance sense is from 1878.
claim (v.) c.1300, “to call, call out; to ask or demand by virtue of right or authority,” from accented stem of Old French clamer “to call, name, describe; claim; complain; declare,” from Latin clamare “to cry out, shout, proclaim,” from PIE *kele- (2) “to shout,” imitative (compare Sanskrit usakala “cock,” literally “dawn-calling;” Latin calare “to announce solemnly, call out;” Middle Irish cailech “cock;” Greek kalein “to call,” kelados “noise,” kledon “report, fame;” Old High German halan “to call;” Old English hlowan “to low, make a noise like a cow;” Lithuanian kalba “language”). Related: Claimed; claiming.
Meaning “to maintain as true” is from 1864; specific sense “to make a claim” (on an insurance company) is from 1897. Claim properly should not stray too far from its true meaning of “to demand recognition of a right.”
plaintiff (n.) c.1400, from Anglo-French pleintif (late 13c.), noun use of Old French plaintif “complaining; wretched, miserable,” from plainte (see plaint). Identical with plaintive at first; the form that receded into legal usage retained the older -iff spelling.
Chevy (n.) by 1938, popular form of Chevrolet, U.S. automobile brand, which was founded by Louis Chevrolet and William Durant in 1911; acquired by General Motors in 1917.
corvette (n.) 1630s, also corvet, from French corvette “small, fast frigate” (15c.), perhaps from Middle Dutch korver “pursuit ship,” or Middle Low German korf meaning both a kind of boat and a basket, or from Latin corbita (navis) “slow-sailing ship of burden, grain ship” from corbis “basket” (Gamillscheg is against this). The U.S. sports car was so named September 1952, after the warship, on a suggestion by Myron Scott, employee of Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet’s advertising agency. Italian corvetta, Spanish corbeta are French loan-words.
beef (v.) “to complain,” slang, 1888, American English, from noun meaning “complaint” (1880s). The noun meaning “argument” is recorded from 1930s. The origin and signification are unclear; perhaps it traces to the common late 19c. complaint of U.S. soldiers about the quantity or quality of beef rations.
argue (v.) c.1300, “to make reasoned statements to prove or refute a proposition,” from Old French arguer “maintain an opinion or view; harry, reproach, accuse, blame” (12c.), from Latin argutare “to prattle, prate,” frequentative of arguer “make clear, make known, prove, declare, demonstrate,” from PIE *argu-yo-, from root *arg- “to shine, be white, bright, clear” (see argent). Meaning “to oppose, dispute” is from late 14c. Related: Argued; arguing.
argument (n.) early 14c., “statements and reasoning in support of a proposition,” from Old French arguement “reasoning, opinion; accusation, charge” (13c.), from Latin argumentum “evidence, ground, support, proof; a logical argument,” from arguere “to argue” (see argue). Sense passed through “subject of contention” to “a quarrel,” a sense formerly attached to argumentation.
you (pron.) Old English eow, dative and accusative plural of þu (see thou), objective case of ge, “ye” (see ye), from Proto-Germanic *juz-, *iwwiz (cognates: Old Norse yor, Old Saxon iu, Old Frisian iuwe, Middle Dutch, Dutch u, Old High German iu, iuwih, German euch), from PIE *yu, second person (plural) pronoun.
Pronunciation of you and the nominative form ye gradually merged from 14c.; the distinction between them passed out of general usage by 1600. Widespread use of French in England after 12c. gave English you the same association as French vous, and it began to drive out singular nominative thou, originally as a sign of respect (similar to the “royal we”) when addressing superiors, then equals and strangers, and ultimately (by c.1575) becoming the general form of address. Through 13c. English also retained a dual pronoun ink “you two; your two selves; each other.”
debt (n.) late 13c., dette, from Old French dete, from Latin debitum “thing owed,” neuter past participle of debere “to owe,” originally, “keep something away from someone,” from de- “away” (see de-) + habere “to have” (see habit (n.)). Restored spelling after c.1400.
debtor (n.) early 13c., dettur, dettour, from Old French detour, from Latin debitor “a debter,” from past participle stem of debere; see debt. The -b- was restored in later French, and in English c.1560-c.1660. The KJV has detter three times, debter three times, debtor twice and debtour once.
debenture (n.) “written acknowledgment of a debt,” early 15c., from Latin debentur “there are due” (said to have been the first word in formal certificates of indebtedness), passive present third person plural of debere “to owe” (see debt).
finance (n.) c.1400, “an end, settlement, retribution,” from Middle French finance “ending, settlement of a debt” (13c.), noun of action from finer “to end, settle a dispute or debt,” from fin (see fine (n.)). Compare Medieval Latin finis “a payment in settlement, fine or tax.”
The notion is of “ending” (by satisfying) something that is due (compare Greek telos “end;” plural tele “services due, dues exacted by the state, financial means”). The French senses gradually were brought into English: “ransom” (mid-15c.), “taxation” (late 15c.); the sense of “management of money” first recorded in English 1770.
harm (n.) Old English hearm “hurt, evil, grief, pain, insult,” from Proto-Germanic *harmaz (cognates: Old Saxon harm, Old Norse harmr, Old Frisian herm “insult; pain,” Old High German harm, German Harm “grief, sorrow, harm”), from PIE *kormo- “pain.”
injury (n.) late 14c., “harm, damage, loss; a specific injury,” from Anglo-French injurie “wrongful action,” from Latin injuria “wrong, hurt, injustice, insult,” noun use of fem. of injurius “wrongful, unjust,” from in- “not, opposite of” (see in- (1)) + ius (genitive iuris) “right, law” (see jurist).
injure (v.) mid-15c., “do an injustice to, dishonor,” probably a back-formation from injury, or else from Middle French injuriier, from Latin injurare. Injury also served as a verb (late 15c.). Related: Injured; injuring.
offense (n.) late 14c., “hurt, harm, injury, pain,” from Old French ofense “offense, insult, wrong” (13c.) and directly from Latin offensa “an offense, injury, affront, crime,” literally “a striking against,” noun use of fem. past participle of offendere (see offend). Meaning “action of attacking” and “feeling of being hurt” are both first recorded c.1400. Sense of “breach of the law, transgression” is first recorded late 14c. Sporting sense first recorded 1894.
loss (n.) Old English los “loss, destruction,” from Proto-Germanic *lausa- (see lose). The modern word, however, probably evolved 14c. with a weaker sense, from lost, the original past participle of lose. Phrase at a loss (1590s) originally refers to hounds losing the scent. To cut (one’s) losses is from 1885, originally in finance.
publican (n.) c.1200, “tax-gatherer,” from Old French publician (12c.), from Latin publicanus “a tax collector,” noun use of an adjective, “pertaining to public revenue,” from publicum “public revenue,” noun use of neuter of publicus (see public (adj.)). Original sense in Matt. xviii:17, etc.; meaning “keeper of a pub” first recorded 1728, from public (house) + -an.