to vet

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 12 23:34:33 UTC 2012

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at> wrote:
> "vet" means "old," as any veteran wordsmith can tell you.

It's _veter-_ that means "old," from Latin _vetus_, GEN. _veter-is_.
Romance forms are from _vetulus_ > _vetlus_ > _veclus_.

Speaking of _tl_ > _cl_, W:pedia says that _Tlingit_ is pronounced as
though spelled "Clingit" in English. I was caught off guard. I've
never heard this word spoken, but I have no problem using the spelling
pronunciation. Anyone who's passed articulatory phonetics 101 ought to
be able to reproduce the voiceless L used in the native pronunciation.
And, given that the English spelling is, no doubt, the invention of
English-speakers, why wasn't the word spelled "Clingit" / "Klingit,"
to begin with?


The Romance development is a consequence of *hearing* the word, not of
reading it.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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