A quick note

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 5 02:47:23 UTC 2010

That's an interesting adaptation.. A child in the womb "quickens" when it is
first felt to move. From m-w online, "quicken", under "intransitive verb":
3. to reach the stage of gestation at which fetal motion is felt

(Irrelevantly, I think someone ought to point out to them that
*intransitive* definition #1 has a problem:  "to quicken something".)

OED gives this sense and usage with quotations only from 1967, but used of
the mother since 1530:
 *4.* *intr.* Of a woman (or other female mammal): to reach the stage of
pregnancy when movements of the fetus are perceptible. Later also (of a
fetus): to begin to move. Also *fig.*

*1530* J. PALSGRAVE<http://proxy.library.upenn.edu:2110/help/bib/oed2-p.html#j-palsgrave>
*Lesclarcissement* 677/1 She quyckynned on al hallon day.
*1926* *Lancet* 11 Dec. 1221/2 She quickened at four and a half months. *
1967* *Law & Contemp. Probl.* *34* 574 Sixtus banned all abortions, but was
reversed after his death by Pope Gregory XIV, who declared abortion illegal
only after the fetus quickens.

m a m

On Sun, Aug 1, 2010 at 9:12 PM, Eric Nielsen <ericbarnak at gmail.com> wrote:

> A while ago, there was discussion on contemporary use of quick (the
> living).
> I found this occurrence recently in my fun reading:
> "He had been born, achieving active status, six years before, both parents
> in attendance, one of only thirty children *quickened* in city memory that
> year."
> Greg Bear
> *Eternity*
> Popular Library, Warner Books Inc. New York, NY
> 1988
> p. 30
> These "quickened" individuals are not corporeal yet, but have status as
> persons-even though they only exist in memory. Later on, they take can take
> exams to qualify for a body.
> Eric
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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