" to shod " !!

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Sep 2 20:14:35 UTC 2009

At 3:15 PM -0400 9/2/09, Wilson Gray wrote:
>Sadly, in addition to "trod, trodded," you will also find "tread,
>treaded." But there were probably many who cried themselves to sleep
>when "to want" ceased to mean "to lack" and, via "to need," evolved
>into "to desire."
>It's not heard much, if at all, nowadays. But, in my childhood, the
>noun, "want," was an everyday word, unfortunately still more or less
>carrying the original sense, meaning something like, "lacking the
>basics of life: food, clothing, and shelter.". When I heard things
>like, "Those fleeing the advance of the Wehrmacht are seriously in
>want" and "The children orphaned as a consequence of the war suffer
>greatly from want," I really had to work to winkle out their meanings,
>since noun and verb have irreconcilable differences.

Maybe when FDR promised to help assure the Four Freedoms, the third
entry in his list, "freedom from want", was reinterpreted as a
reference to our right to indifference.

Actually, I think the sense of "want" you refer to is alive and well
in the right syntactic frames--"want for nothing", "suffer
from/free(dom) from want", "in want (of)", "for want of", etc.


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

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