embetterment?? Idiot??

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Fri Jan 3 16:05:54 UTC 2003

David Barnhart writes:

>Re: embetterment:
>Embetter is an entry in some large dictionaries.  Betterment is an
>entry in most large dictionaries.  So, why not embetterment?  When I am
>wearing my "neologism-watcher"-hat, I jump for joy over embetterment.
>When I think about it from the point of view of analogical linguistic
>formations, I think "how nice."
>>>From the standpoint of idiot vs. moron, I find that reading the OED
>entry is very enlightening.   Senses are organized usually on the basis
>of oldest first.  In OED:
>1a. a person without learning (1377)
>b. a layman (1380)
>c. one not professionally learned or skilled (1638)
>2. a person so deficient in mental or intellectual faculty as to be
>incapable of ordinary acts of reasoning or rational conduct (a1300)
>b. a term of reprobation for one who speaks of acts in what the speaker
>considers an irrational way (c1375)
>c. a man of weak intellect maintained to afford amusement to others
>3 aatrib or quasi-adj.
>4 comb.
>2b seems to be the appropriate one, don't you think?
>barnhart at highlands.com
Wa-a-l-l......a case could be made for 2c.

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