conspire = "contrive"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Mar 19 12:22:57 UTC 2007

Now you see just _how wrong_ he was.


Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Charles Doyle
Subject: Re: conspire = "contrive"

In 1670 William Penn and William Mede were being criminally tried for unlawful speaking and assembly in front of a London meeting house, which had been closed by the crown. In one of the many returns, Penn was found guilty of conspiracy but Mead not-guilty. Said Penn, "[I]t consequently follows, that I am clear since you have indicted us of a Conspiracy, and I could not possibly conspire alone" (_The Peoples Antient and Just Liberties Asserted_ [1670], 19).


---- Original message ----
>Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 15:54:28 -0700
>From: Jonathan Lighter
>Subject: conspire = "contrive"

> OED "Conspire," v. def 1.b.:
> "Said of a single person (the notion of combination being lost sight of): To plot secretly, contrive. Obs. [1393-1606]"
> Well, it's back after 400 years:
> 2007 _SparkNotes: The Merchant of Venice_[ ] In Shylock’s very first appearance...he conspires to harm Antonio.
> JL

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