HD: Visualizing Word Origins
Posted: 05 August 2012 04:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4751
Joined  2007-01-03

I found this one courtesy of Languagehat.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 August 2012 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3107
Joined  2007-02-26

Cute

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 August 2012 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1276
Joined  2007-03-21

I must say that I found it incomprehensible.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 August 2012 11:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1370
Joined  2007-01-29

Interesting to see a visualization of etymologies.  I checked two words in grey, cut and edge, which indicates that their origin is “other”.

I think he’s got it wrong with edge, as the OED says:

Etymology:  Old English ęcg strong feminine = Old Saxon eggia (Middle Dutch egghe , Dutch egge ) edge, corner, point, Old High German ekka edge, point (Middle High German ecke edge, point, corner, modern German ecke (feminine), eck neuter, corner), Old Norse egg edge < Germanic *agjâ , < Old Aryan root *ak , whence many words of cognate sense, e.g. Latin acies , Greek ἀκίς point; compare ail n.1, awn n., ear n.2 (The sense ‘corner’, which has been developed in German and Dutch, is wanting in English.)

But cut surprised me because it sounds as if it should be from Old English.  It has an interesting write-up in OED:

Etymology:  Found in end of 13th cent., and in common use since the 14th cent., being the proper word for the action in question, for which Old English used sníðan , ceorfan . The phonology is doubtful; the early variants cutte , kitte , kette , with past participle cut , kyt , kit , kett , are parallel to the early variants of shut n.2, Old English scyttan, and point to *cyttan, kytten ( < *cutian) as the original form, an earlier y /y/ , having here, as in shut and other words, given later u now /ʌ/ ). The word is not recorded in Old English (nor in any West Germanic dialect), and there is no corresponding verb in Romanic. Modern Norwegian kutte = skjære to cut (chiefly used by sailors) is certainly adopted < English; but a verb kåta, (kutå) = skära, hugga to cut, is widely diffused in Swedish dialects, and apparently an old word, from an Old Germanic stem *kut-, *kot-, which is probably the source also of the English vb., whatever the intermediate history of the latter

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 August 2012 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3507
Joined  2007-01-29

I must say that I found it incomprehensible.

In what sense?  It’s a pretty simple idea: words of different origins are in different colors.  (The implementation can be a little shaky, as Eliza points out, but that’s a different issue.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 August 2012 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4751
Joined  2007-01-03

Trying to read the passage in the different colors can be a challenge, but of course, that’s not the point of the exercise. It’s about visualizing data, not reading literature.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 August 2012 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3507
Joined  2007-01-29

Oh, yeah, if you were trying to read it the way you’d read any passage of prose, it would be annoying.

Profile