the then, the late, and in the room of

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Feb 11 18:11:15 UTC 2010

At 2/10/2010 05:47 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>"Late" has always been very much alive and kicking, IME. I don't find
>anything interesting in the examples suggested.

Wilson, I don't understand this.  My point was that "the then" has
the same meaning now as "the late" could have in earlier centuries.

If I read in modern text "the late" -- as in "the late Generalissimo
Franco" -- I understand "late" as meaning "dead" (finally), OED 5.a,
not "former".  "The then representative", on the other hand, does
mean "former", just as "late" means "former", OED 5.b, in an
18th-century reference.

"Late" = "former" was used of people -- the latest of the OED's
quotations for "late" 5.b is:
1842 MACAULAY Ess., Fred. Gt. (1887) 717 He conceived himself secure
from the power of his late master.

Another is:
a1548 HALL Chron., Hen. IV, 19b, [He] maried Jane Duches of Britaine
late wife to Jhon duke of Britaine.

"[He]" surely was not a necrophiliac.


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