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#53434 - 01/31/02 04:46 PM Re: The be- prefix: adding or subtracting?
Keiva Offline
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Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
It seems, however, that in all the offered specimens, that there, at least, is an inherent ambiguity in the
be- prefix


As usual, Shakespeare best expressed that ambiguity: "To be- or not to be-; that is the question".


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#53435 - 02/02/02 12:27 PM Re: The be- prefix: adding or subtracting?
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
I've been meaning to get around to this for sime time and finally got off my duff.

The be- prefix in Old English had three possible meanings.

Quoted from A Guide to Old English by Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson:

be-
1 In some words be- is the same as the prep. 'about', e.g. be-gan'surround' and be-ridan 'ride
around, surround'.

2 Sometimes it is a deprivative, e.g. be-dælan 'deprive' and be-heafdian 'behead'.

3 It can make an intransitive verb transitive, e.g. be-<THORN>encan 'think about' and be-wepan 'bewail'.


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#53436 - 02/02/02 02:42 PM Re: The be- prefix: adding or subtracting?
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
Thanks for that, Faldage! To be- or not to be- is no longer the be- question! (or be- quest!)

So I guess the only item left here to bequestion the Board with is "do you consider betrothed to be a gaining or losing, or both?


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#53437 - 02/02/02 05:18 PM Re: The be- prefix: adding or subtracting?
Keiva Offline
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Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
Sometimes it is a deprivative, e.g. 'behead'.

Faldage is of course cross-threading to "bobbit".
We are much beholden to you, sir.

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#53438 - 02/02/02 09:50 PM Re: Speaking for Keiva
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
I would say that he apologizes to me for suggesting that I intended something that I neither intended nor, in retrospect, recognized that I intended.

The thread started with: why does behead imply taking something away?

[cross thread]Please do not ever presume to put words in my mouth[/cross thread]






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#53439 - 02/03/02 12:23 AM Re: speaking facetiously
Keiva Offline
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Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
My dear faldage, and not to pick nits, but there's such a thing as speaking facetiously, and I'd think there's a great difference between

"faldage says _______ [ wink ]" and
"keiva says ________ [no wink]"

I agree with you that a winkless misquote might well call for an apology.


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#53440 - 02/03/02 07:52 AM Re: speaking facetiously
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
I would like to apologize publicly to Keiva for not using smileys (except facetiously)


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#53441 - 02/03/02 09:54 AM Re: speaking facetiously
Keiva Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
Huh? No apology needed here, buddy. LMBYAB. [beer -e]


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