|Purpose||linguistic purism in English|
"Uncleftish Beholding" (1989)is a short text by Poul Anderson, included in his anthology "All One Universe". It is designed to illustrate what English might look like without its large number of loanwords from languages such as French, Greek, and Latin, especially with regard to the proportion of scientific words with origins in those languages.
Written as a demonstration of linguistic purism in English, the work explains atomic theory using Germanic words almost exclusively and coining new words when necessary;many of these new words have cognates in modern German, an important scientific language in its own right. The title phrase uncleftish beholding calques "atomic theory."
To illustrate, the text begins:
For most of its being, mankind did not know what things are made of, but could only guess. With the growth of worldken, we began to learn, and today we have a beholding of stuff and work that watching bears out, both in the workstead and in daily life.
It goes on to define firststuffs (chemical elements), such as waterstuff (hydrogen), sourstuff (oxygen), and ymirstuff (uranium), as well as bulkbits (molecules), bindings (compounds), and several other terms important to uncleftish worldken (atomic science). ἥλιος, the Ancient Greek word for "sun." Ymirstuff references Ymir, a giant in Norse mythology similar to Uranus in Greek mythology.Wasserstoff and Sauerstoff are the modern German words for hydrogen and oxygen, and in Dutch the modern equivalents are waterstof and zuurstof. Sunstuff refers to helium, which derives from
|Word in Uncleftish Beholding||Word in English||Origin In English|
|UNCLEFT||atom||from Greek atomos "uncut, unhewn; indivisible," from a- "not" + tomos "a cutting,"|
|BEHOLDING||theory||from Greek theōria "contemplation, speculation; a looking at, viewing; a sight, show, spectacle, things looked at," from theōrein "to consider, speculate, look at," from theōros "spectator,"|
|WORLDKEN||science||from Latin scientia "knowledge". World + ken means "understanding the world".|
|from Latin materia "substance from which something is made,"|
|from Late Latin carricare "to load a wagon or cart"|
|Hydrogen||from Greek for water |
from nitrum in Latin.
from Greek for the lodestone. Glasswort was used as a source of soda for glassmaking
from Latin for Flint
Latinised form of Potash
|YMIRSTUFF||Uranium||from Uranus (Norse equivalent is Ymir)|
|AEGIRSTUFF:||Neptunium||from Neptune (Norse equvialent is Ægir)|
|HELSTUFF:||Plutonium||from Pluto (Norse equivalent is Hel)|
The vocabulary used in Uncleftish Beholding does not completely derive from Anglo-Saxon. Around, from Old French reond (Modern French rond), completely displaced Old English ymbe (modern English umbe (now obsolete), cognate to German um and Latin ambi-) and left no "native" English word for this concept. The text also contains the French-derived words rest, ordinary and sort.
The text gained increased exposure and popularity after being circulated around the Internet,and has served as inspiration for some inventors of Germanic English conlangs. Douglas Hofstadter, in discussing the piece in his book Le Ton beau de Marot , jocularly refers to the use of only Germanic roots for scientific pieces as "Ander-Saxon."
False cognates are pairs of words that seem to be cognates because of similar sounds and meaning, but have different etymologies; they can be within the same language or from different languages, even within the same family. For example, the English word dog and the Mbabaram word dog have exactly the same meaning and very similar pronunciations, but by complete coincidence. Likewise, English much and Spanish mucho came by their similar meanings via completely different Proto-Indo-European roots, and English "have" and Spanish "haber" are similar in meaning but come from different Proto-Indo-European roots. This is different from false friends, which are similar-sounding words with different meanings, but which may in fact be etymologically related.
In Modern English, we is a plural, first-person pronoun.
In Modern English, you is the second-person pronoun. It is grammatically plural, and was historically used only for the dative case, but in most modern dialects is used for all cases and numbers.
Etymology is the study of the history of words. By extension, the etymology of a word means its origin and development throughout history.
Linguistic purism in English involves opposition to foreign influence in the English language. English has evolved with a great deal of borrowing from other languages, especially Old French, since the Norman conquest of England, and some of its native vocabulary and grammar have been supplanted by features of Latinate and Greek origin. Efforts to remove or consider the removal of foreign terms in English are often known as Anglish, a term coined by author and humorist Paul Jennings in 1966.
The Online Etymology Dictionary is a free online dictionary, written and compiled by Douglas Harper that describes the origins of English-language words.
An inkhorn term is a loanword or a word coined from existing roots, which is deemed to be unnecessary or overly pretentious.
Germanic toponyms are the names given to places by Germanic peoples and tribes. Besides areas with current speakers of Germanic languages, many regions with previous Germanic speakers or Germanic influence had or still have Germanic toponymic elements, such as places in Northern France, Wallonia, Poland and Northern Italy.
In Modern English, I is the singular, first-person pronoun.
The word witch derives from the Old English nouns ƿiċċa[ˈwittʃɑ] and ƿiċċe[ˈwittʃe]. The word's further origins in Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-European are unclear.
The plant name Cannabis is derived originally from a Scythian or Thracian word, which loaned into Persian as kanab, then into Greek as κάνναβις and subsequently into Latin as cannabis. The Germanic word that gives rise to English hemp may be an early Germanic loan from the same source.
There are several known allotropes of oxygen. The most familiar is molecular oxygen (O2), present at significant levels in Earth's atmosphere and also known as dioxygen or triplet oxygen. Another is the highly reactive ozone (O3). Others are:
Magnesia Prefecture was one of the prefectures of Greece. Its capital was Volos. It was established in 1899 from the Larissa Prefecture. The prefecture was disbanded on 1 January 2011 by the Kallikratis programme, and split into the regional units of Magnesia and the Sporades.
A mortal wound is an injury that will ultimately lead to a person's death. Mortal refers to the mortality of a human: whether they are going to live or die. Wound is another term for injury. The expression can also be used figuratively, for example when it was used in the 2017 Times article Being Frightened is not a Mortal Wound.
The English language has a number of words that denote specific or approximate quantities that are themselves not numbers. Along with numerals, and special-purpose words like some, any, much, more, every, and all, they are Quantifiers. Quantifiers are a kind of determiner and occur in many constructions with other determiners, like articles: e.g., two dozen or more than a score. Scientific non-numerical quantities are represented as SI units.