the then, the late, and in the room of

Alison Murie sagehen7470 at ATT.NET
Thu Feb 11 21:32:10 UTC 2010

On Feb 11, 2010, at 1:11 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: the then, the late, and in the room of
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.
> Joel
To me, "the then" whatever has always meant specifically "at that
time,"  not merely formerly or previously.  Unlike Wilson, I heard and
used this expression at least from the '40s.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list