Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
The verb “languish,” to droop/waste away/decline, and its cousins, the noun “languor,” the adjective “languorous,” and the adverb “languorously” wend their way into modern English via Norman French. The words ultimately stem back to the classical Latin languere to be faint/feeble.
English speakers sometime see the word “long” in the noun and adjective and adverb, perhaps because “languor” conveys a sense of boredom and lassitude. The long hours stretch out longuorously..
: “Today I tried to overcome the longuor in which I had fallen by going to my grandparents home.”
: “Having sighed, the face to him declines / With the longuor, with the tremblingly live,”
: “the fire in the fireplace creates a longuorous atmosphere.”
: “Meanwhile, the dense and verdant forest longuorously unveiled itself.”
A few speakers/writers also squeeze “long” into the verb form “languish.”
: “And let me to suffer as i longuish in pain / Aids you are my mortal enermy.”
More intriguing, though relatively rare, is the double-barreled verb “longwish:”
: “Amazingly, this landmark recording has longwished in the vaults over the years”
: “I wandered around for years and years crying the day longwishing and hoping you were not really gone”
I wonder if longeur and other similarly arcane words had any influence? I always understood longeurs to be passages that got so long as to languish languorously a long.
(Reminds me to dig out my old copy of Anguish Languish and read a bit …)
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .
The verb “languish,” to droop/waste away/decline, and its cousins, the noun “languor,” the adjective “languorous,” and the adverb “languorously” wend their way into modern English via Norman French.
Pardon the tangent, but I’m intrigued about something. When I read kem’s sentence above, I asked myself, “Why did kem use the present tense ‘wend’ here instead of the past tense ‘went’?” Then I realized that “went” is not the past tense of “wend”, but it immediately made sense to me that the two could be etymologically related. After all, there’s no obvious connection between the present tense “go” and the past tense “went”. Do any of you language buffs know whether “wend” and “went” spring from the same root? A glance at my dictionary didn’t clarify the issue.
Your intuition is right on target, Dixon. “Went” was once the past tense of “wend” and later (by the 1500s) adopted as the preterite of “go.”