Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jul 22 23:24:07 UTC 2002

At 10:38 AM -0400 7/22/02, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
>How many practices have to accompany another (designated by a "word")
>for the latter to gain connotations and, as time marches on,
>denotations? What does "housewife" mean (today), and, in spite of our
>knowledge of the origin of its morphs (way back), wouldn't we want to
>say that a part of its more recent meaning and use history (its
>"complete etymology," I would say) has to do with practices,
>associations, connotations and the like? A divorce of word history
>and social history will surely set us back.
A point made very well, incidentally, by A. W. Read in the
aforementioned (even by Safire) new book, with his notion of the
"trajectory" of the history of a word.


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