Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: Words of War, Part 2

Regardless of their time or culture, our pioneer ancestors are near and dear to the heart of a family history researcher. But have you ever considered the origin of the word "pioneer"? Who would imagine it originated in war time? In her article, "Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: Words of War, Part 2 ," Jean Hibbens explores some of the earliest wars in recorded history and how that language is used today. In particular, she explores how many of the meanings have been altered, in at least one case, reflecting pretty much the exact opposite of its original intent.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: Words of War, Part 1

As one might expect, a lot of word relating to war fare have to do with courage in the face of battle. In her article, "Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles, Words of War," Jean Hibben show words of war derive from ancient times, forward. Language is interesting in the way usage can alter meaning, and connotation can trump denotation, turning a word that is, if not positive, at least neutral, into something downright pejorative, as shown in the origin of the word "coward" and other "words of war."

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