[Ads-l] WOTD

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Sep 10 00:14:46 UTC 2021

> On Sep 9, 2021, at 8:02 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Quora.com:
> "The weight also would impossibilitate moving it to the front with trains."
> JL
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth.”

Some precedents per the OED, including a royal one:

1633   T. Adams Comm. 2 Peter (ii. 14) 921   It [sc. covetousness] impossibilitates the entrance into heaven.
1646   King Charles I Let. in T. Carte Coll. Orig. Lett. (1735) III. 452   I..would do nothing to impossibilitate ayde [printed adye] from thence.
1834   R. Southey Doctor II. 116   How many accidents might for ever have impossibilitated the existence of this incomparable work!

The Quora poster was likely not in direct line to the throne.  Or, unlike Southey, a poet laureate (albeit one mocked by Lewis Carroll).

Speaking of precedents—one wonders whether the coinage of this verb was an item in the regicides’ bill of attainder against the ill-fated Charlie.


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

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