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Sep 13, 2004
This week's theme
Archaic words

This week's words

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Fashions come and go. Some year it's bell-bottoms that are cool, another time it might be torn jeans. What is hip for one age is passé for another. The same goes for words. Yesterday's street slang today becomes respectable, suitable for office memos and academic theses. And what were everyday words at one time may be labeled archaic a few hundred years later.

As I see it, there's no reason to relegate any word to the attic of time. The more the merrier. Each word on our verbal palette -- whether new or old -- helps us bring out a nuance in conversation and in writing.

The words featured here this week are considered archaic but still look to be in good shape. They're old but not yet retired from the language. They still report for duty faithfully, as shown by recent examples from newspapers.


(tro) Pronunciation

verb tr., intr.: To believe, think, suppose, or trust.

[From Middle English, from Old English, ultimately from Indo-European root deru- (to be firm) that's the source of such other words as truth, trust, betroth, tree, endure, and druid.]

"Caledon's publicity blurb starts with a quote from Robbie Burns that, all things considered, seems positively spooky. 'Here are we met three merry boys; three merry boys I trow are we!'"
Scot August Night; The Age (Melbourne, Australia); Aug 11, 2004.

"And he, poor parasite,
Cooped in a ship he cannot steer, --
Who is the captain he knows not,
Port or pilot trows not..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson; Monadnoc; 1847.


Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. -William Shakespeare, playwright and poet (1564-1616)

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