[Homestead] Life in the 1500's
lurine at softcom.net
Sun Aug 26 19:06:11 EDT 2007
English speaking folks, and Americans in particular, have extremely "lazy"
language skills. Could be one of the reasons that English as a language is
such a mess. If one wants more recent examples, ask immigrants who no
longer have family names because someone at Ellis Island couldn't understand
what they were saying and couldn't be bothered to or to take the time to
actually get the name spelled correctly.
And for your other little bit of trivia for the day, our language is also in
the Algonquin family of languages.
----- Original Message -----
From: <Clansgian at wmconnect.com>
> But that's the interesting thing. I first came across that tidbit in a
> titled "The History of Corn", don't recall the author, but it was a
> tome divided into chapters called: Botany, History, Religion, Cuisine,
> Economics, etc. and each chapter looked at the entire history of corn
> from that
> perspective. Fascinating.
> It was there I garnered the fact that when, among others Benjamin
> was writing about a proposed wheat embargo to starve the rebelling
> he said they couldn't care less because they had plenty of good bread in
> form of "hokek" which he explained was the local Algonquin word for
> We English speakers have a fascinating habit of hearing a term we don't
> understand and converting it to the closest English word that fits it.
> Everyone knows that Jerusalem artichokes have nothing to do with
> Jerusalem. They
> are native to Virginia but in their wanderings around the kitchens of the
> seem to have made a lingering stop in Italy. The Jerusalem artichoke is a
> type of of sunflower and when the Italians saw them growing they called
> what else, sunflowers, or 'girasole'. English speakers, hearing the
> name for the tubers, thought someone might be trying to say "Jerusalem"
> and so
> the name has stuck.
> Here in the southern Appalachians the bush that bears pointy clusters of
> berries which make a good citrusy drink are called Shoe-Make bushes. I
> wondered what they had to do with making shoes, until I found out that
> people call them "Sumac" bushes. Again, bending an unfamiliar word to fit
> common English word.
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