-ency/-ancy vs. -ence/-ance

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Thu Oct 6 02:27:25 UTC 2005

>sagehen wrote:
>> I remember how startling I found it to hear "emergent" for the first time,
>> back in the late 50s, as referring to the underlying crisis of an
>> emergency. It was not meant as "developing," but as  qualifying the
>> situation for "emergency" status. This seems in the intervening years to
>> have become standard jargon in hospitals & related services.
>The word is quite old in that sense, or a closely related one; cf. John
>Donne's _Devotions upon Emergent Occasions_ (the source of, among
>other things, the famous passage about "ask not for whom the bell
>Jim Parish
Interesting.  I guess I'd never noticed -- or I'd misinterpreted -- that.

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