Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 26 18:04:37 UTC 2008

FWIW, I'm fully persuaded by Larry and Mark. And it strikes me that,
given "out of kilter," "akilter" ought to mean "in kilter."

But, of course, you never know.


On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 12:53 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: akilter
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 11:09 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>> But it's hard to imagine "akilter" as involving the Greek privative
>> prefix; the Greek derivation gets the morphology/etymology wrong,
>> while the Old English adverbial a- prefix seems right for the
>> morphology but gets the semantics backward.  If I were Jerry Cohen
>> (and perhaps even if I weren't), I'd suggest a blend of "askew" with
>> "(out of) kilter".  There is actually a family of similar descriptive
>> terms with meanings in the same family--"astray", "askance",
>> etc.--and maybe they did somehow attract "akilter" to their perverse
>> ways.
> Oh, sure, the poster was off-target on "alpha privative". (That wasn't
> my comment, it was part of a reply in the source.) ISTM that "awry" is
> an especially good fit for a semantic (mis)model.
> --
> Mark Mandel
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