35. Word Evolution

Scientific American has an online article about the evolution of words [CLICK HERE].

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3 Responses to 35. Word Evolution

  1. Orange says:

    Thanks for the link, Pat. I am glad to know that 1,200 years ago, the past tense of slink was slunk. Mind you, the American Heritage Dictionary also lists that as the first spelling for the past tense, so who’s convinced the SA authors that it’s slinked now? I mean, I have never slinked, but I’ve definitely slunk.

  2. Patrick Merrell says:

    It does seem the Harvard researchers could have used a better example than the slinked/slunk one. (Just to be clear, SA is reporting about two studies published in Nature.) I see now that slink can also mean to give birth prematurely, mostly for a farm animal. Slinked is the preferable past tense for that.

  3. Orange says:

    I can’t say I’ve ever slinked…unless it also works for humans, in which case I have! And there’s no other handy one-word verb for that in people.

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