TITLE

The Learned Word

AUTHOR(S)
Taylor, Kathleen
PUB. DATE
September 2009
SOURCE
Phi Delta Kappan;Sep2009, Vol. 91 Issue 1, p7
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article discusses the derivation of the English word "learned." It notes that the word first appeared in the 14th century and is pronounced with two syllables. It appeared a few hundred years after the verb "learn." The verb "learn," it says, is derived from an Old High German word for "track" and the Russian word for "garden bed, furrow" and the Latin word for "furrow." It notes that the word "learn" was once used respectably as a transitive verb meaning "teach" by both William Shakespeare and Samuel Johnson, but by the 19th century the American lexicographer Noah Webster indicated the usage was falling out of favor. The Oxford English Dictionary, at the turn of the 20th century, called it vulgar and it remains discredited.
ACCESSION #
44091683

 

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