s.v. hitherfore

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Wed Jan 9 20:20:33 UTC 2002

On Wed, 9 Jan 2002, Laurence Horn wrote:

#No, but for me the "hither" version would have to be deictic =
#'before now/here/this', as in "heretofore", while your use was
#referential = 'before then/there/that', whence "thitherfore".  Of
#course, there are no hits for that on google or anywhere else, but
#there's no time like the present...

Now I see what I don't like about that word: It can't decide
what direction it's pointing in. "Hitherto" = 'up until
here/now', and the movement of both elements is is in the
direction of the arrow of time, forward. (Likewise
"thitherto", of course.) Its normal counterpart,
"henceforward", follows the arrow forward from here/now,
again consistently.

But in "hitherfore" the "hither" moves forward to the
present while the "fore" looks backward from it. It bites. I
can only think it was coined by somebody who knew a little
bit about "hither" and "hence" and "fore", but not enough.
"Drink deep, or taste not!"

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large (not hired by the company that bought
   the surviving fragment of Dragon research)

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