"the etymological fallacy"

One of the McKays music at fl.net.au
Thu Feb 18 07:01:40 EST 1999

>Would anyone be interested in laying out  "the etymological fallacy", pro
and con?
>I fear I am much prone to it, and would like to see it argued.

I am no expert in Hebrew, but I will use a Greek example [in which I am most
certainly also not an expert.] Some say that METANOEW **simply** means "to
change one's mind" because that is clearly its etymological derivation.

But, if you examine how Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul, Peter and others use
the term, it involves a lot more than a simple change of mind.

I wonder if the translation "shadow of death" for TSaLMaVeT is an example of
this? Modern translations tend to render this as "very deep shadow." I
understand that D.W.Thomas argues that MuT has a superlative force. [See
TWOT, p.767]

A humorous English one is
'expert' =
x, the unknown quantity
'spurt', a drip under pressure!

Sometimes the etymological fallacy is saying that a word means what it used
to mean. Or, in Hebrew, a word means what the neighbouring languages mean by
that word.

David McKay
music at fl.net.au
Please forgive my transliteration. I have never been able to understand or
read the system used here.

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