"Commute" in European languages?

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Jul 3 14:36:24 UTC 2002


In a message dated 7/3/02 10:18:14 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
lists at MCFEDRIES.COM writes:

> most
>  European languages didn't have an equivalent for the verb "commute" (in the
>  sense of to travel regularly to and from one's place of work). This seems
>  surprising since this sense of "commute" has been in the English language
>  for over a hundred years. Does his assertion seem plausible?

I don't know if this is correct, but I once read in a railroad magazine that
this sense of "commute" comes from the practice of issuing "commutation
tickets", this being the term for multi-ride tickets issued at a discount.

In case you're interested, the word "commutative" is from Aristotle.
"Commutative property" was introduced, in French, by Fran├žois Joseph Servois
in 1814.

         - James A. Landau



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