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Re: etymological breadcrumbs …

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  • John Anderson
    I ve read Fernando s article in The Carrollian 8 (The Consumption of the Snark and the Decline of Nonsense: A Medico-Linguistic Reading of Carroll s Fitful
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 1, 2008
      I've read Fernando's article in The Carrollian 8 (The Consumption of the Snark and the
      Decline of Nonsense: A Medico-Linguistic Reading of Carroll's 'Fitful Agony'). I wouldn't
      say that it covers the same ground as my post. While Fernando's article makes many clever
      connections between the Snark, pigs, and consumption, my post is a purely etymological
      discussion. I do not think there any etymological connection between the words "snark"
      and "pig" - which is what I inferred from Fernando's comment below, but perhaps is not
      what he intended.

      The article does mention a word I was not aware of: "snarker" meaning "cinder".

      I must point out an inaccuracy, but this is not Fernando's fault, but rather the fault of Skeat's An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. The derivation of "wight" from
      Old English "wegan" is not the correct one, as I understand it. "Wight" is understood to be
      derived from Proto-Indo-European *wekti- "thing, creature", while OE "wegan" is from
      Proto-Indo-European *wegh- "to go".


      > --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, fernando soto <ferjsoto42@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Mahendra,
      > >
      > > I found you post, with link, interesting. However, I
      > > don't know why this person would go over almost
      > > exactly the same ground my article on 'The Snark'
      > > covered almost a decade ago. I guess neither you nor
      > > he have read this long. scholarly paper in The
      > > Carrollian, #8. Moreover, I uncovered the very word
      > > Snark - a very ancient word - in my researches. I
      > > attempt to give internal reasons why some of the
      > > etymological meanings were likely chosen and why the
      > > word "Snark", likely not primarily a portmanteau word
      > > - was chosen by LC. In addition, I think I solidly
      > > ground the word Snark in the word "pig"; therefore, as
      > > you may already know, I don't at all accept that these
      > > connections were done at a subconscious level,
      > > particularly by someone as "ultrarationalist" and
      > > driven by a "rage for order" as Carroll was. So I am
      > > glad you find this type of research interesting, but I
      > > guess I must tell you that "it's been done before".
      > >
      > > All best,
      > >
      > > Fernando
      >
    • fernando soto
      Hi, I guess I am the one that now doesn t quite understand. Because this was posted to the LC group list, I thought that anything post 1876 (5?) was not to be
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 1, 2008
        Hi,

        I guess I am the one that now doesn't quite
        understand.

        Because this was posted to the LC group list, I
        thought that anything post 1876 (5?) was not to be
        considered; otherwise we would likely accept the OED
        definition and trace things back to Carroll.

        As far as I can tell, in my article I covered the
        meanings associated with the words snirt, sniff,
        snark, snork, snort, snur, snurt, snot, snat, snork,
        snark, etc. While these words are not pursued to
        their "original roots," I doubt whether we can dismiss
        their source as not being "etymological". In the
        etymology provided in that web-page, a very similar
        method is employed as the one in my paper: providing
        not only roots/words, but possible meanings that link
        the roots/words to each other. In the Dictionary of
        Early English the author does trace the route some of
        these words took through the centuries. If this is
        accepted, this DEE definition covers most of the
        possible pre-1876 definitions in the webpage by John.
        If the words "snork" and "Snark are interchangeable,
        then all of the grunting and snout definitions seem to
        point to pigs. Moreover, if a snorker is a "young
        pig," it stands to reason that a "snarker" is likely
        one too, though this is not included in the
        definition. However, if by "etymology" we mean only
        the tracing of roots to their "origins," then I agree
        with john that "Snark" and "pig" do not share the same
        root(s). It is "snorker", "snork" and "snark" that
        do. It is in this chain that a snorker/pig is a
        "snark".

        The criticism of Skeat's assumptions are very likely
        right, but they don't seem to have any impact on my
        arguments. In this case it isn't that important what
        the true root of "wight" is, but only what it was
        thought to be previuous to the writing/publishing of
        'The Snark'.. As well, I rely mainly on the "creaure"
        aspect of the definition, so if Skeat is off on "to
        go", that's fine.

        There is no comment on the fact that I seem to be the
        first LC scholar to have dug up the word "snark," a
        word predating Carroll's use. This seems to point
        away from a portmanteau. Similarly, I don't see a
        mention in the web-page to the definition of "snark"
        as "the snuff of a candle", surely an important
        definition for 'The Snark', whose protagonist is
        called "candle ends" and who is snuffed out by the end
        of the poem. No mention is made of the snicker
        meanings, as in Carroll had a hell of a long snicker,
        almost a century and a half, while his readers were
        sent off on this literary Hunting of the Gowk.

        Note should probably be taken of Skeat's "Aryan Roots"
        near the back of his Dictionaries. Here he has the
        "root" Snark", meaning "to twist, entwine, make a
        noose;" and "sna" and "snu" "to bathe, swim, float,
        flow."

        All best,

        Fernando


        --- John Anderson <goofy@...> wrote:

        > I've read Fernando's article in The Carrollian 8
        > (The Consumption of the Snark and the
        > Decline of Nonsense: A Medico-Linguistic Reading of
        > Carroll's 'Fitful Agony'). I wouldn't
        > say that it covers the same ground as my post. While
        > Fernando's article makes many clever
        > connections between the Snark, pigs, and
        > consumption, my post is a purely etymological
        > discussion. I do not think there any etymological
        > connection between the words "snark"
        > and "pig" - which is what I inferred from Fernando's
        > comment below, but perhaps is not
        > what he intended.
        >
        > The article does mention a word I was not aware of:
        > "snarker" meaning "cinder".
        >
        > I must point out an inaccuracy, but this is not
        > Fernando's fault, but rather the fault of Skeat's An
        > Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. The
        > derivation of "wight" from
        > Old English "wegan" is not the correct one, as I
        > understand it. "Wight" is understood to be
        > derived from Proto-Indo-European *wekti- "thing,
        > creature", while OE "wegan" is from
        > Proto-Indo-European *wegh- "to go".
        >
        >
        > > --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, fernando soto
        > <ferjsoto42@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Hi Mahendra,
        > > >
        > > > I found you post, with link, interesting.
        > However, I
        > > > don't know why this person would go over almost
        > > > exactly the same ground my article on 'The
        > Snark'
        > > > covered almost a decade ago. I guess neither
        > you nor
        > > > he have read this long. scholarly paper in The
        > > > Carrollian, #8. Moreover, I uncovered the very
        > word
        > > > Snark - a very ancient word - in my researches.
        > I
        > > > attempt to give internal reasons why some of the
        > > > etymological meanings were likely chosen and why
        > the
        > > > word "Snark", likely not primarily a portmanteau
        > word
        > > > - was chosen by LC. In addition, I think I
        > solidly
        > > > ground the word Snark in the word "pig";
        > therefore, as
        > > > you may already know, I don't at all accept that
        > these
        > > > connections were done at a subconscious level,
        > > > particularly by someone as "ultrarationalist"
        > and
        > > > driven by a "rage for order" as Carroll was.
        > So I am
        > > > glad you find this type of research interesting,
        > but I
        > > > guess I must tell you that "it's been done
        > before".
        > > >
        > > > All best,
        > > >
        > > > Fernando
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >


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      • goofy dreaming
        On Feb 1, 2008 1:42 PM, fernando soto wrote: Because this was posted to the LC group list, I thought that anything post 1876 (5?) was
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 1, 2008
          On Feb 1, 2008 1:42 PM, fernando soto <ferjsoto42@...> wrote:
          Because this was posted to the LC group list, I
          thought that anything post 1876 (5?) was not to be
          considered; otherwise we would likely accept the OED
          definition and trace things back to Carroll.


          I'm not sure what you mean. The specific meaning of "Snark" as a mythical beast can be traced to Carroll, but the word has other meanings, which lexicographers have traced to other sources.
           
          However, if by "etymology" we mean only
          the tracing of roots to their "origins," then I agree
          with john that "Snark" and "pig" do not share the same
          root(s).

          That is what "etymological" means. :)

           
          There is no comment on the fact that I seem to be the
          first LC scholar to have dug up the word "snark," a
          word predating Carroll's use.

          That's fine. I'm not an LC scholar. Historical linguists have been aware of the word and its possible connection to Dutch and Low German "snorken" since at least the publication of Pokorny's "Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch" in 1959.

           
           This seems to point
          away from a portmanteau.  Similarly, I don't see a
          mention in the web-page to the definition of "snark"
          as "the snuff of a candle", surely an important
          definition for 'The Snark', whose protagonist is
          called "candle ends" and who is snuffed out by the end
          of the poem.  No mention is made of the snicker
          meanings, as in Carroll had a hell of a long snicker,
          almost a century and a half, while his readers were
          sent off on this literary Hunting of the Gowk.

          Those are good points, and I should add them to my page.
           
          Note should probably be taken of Skeat's "Aryan Roots"
          near the back of his Dictionaries.  Here he has the
          "root" Snark", meaning "to twist, entwine, make a
          noose;" and "sna" and "snu" "to bathe, swim, float,
          flow."

          I'm not aware of any root "snark" meaning "to twist". I am skeptical of this. The "bath" meaning can be found in unrelated Proto-Indo-European word *sneh2- "to swim", found in Latin "nare".

          John
        • goofy dreaming
          ... Hold on... this is not a definition of snark , as far as I can see. It s a definition of snirt . ... This is also not a definition of snark .
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 1, 2008
            On Feb 1, 2008 1:42 PM, fernando soto <ferjsoto42@...> wrote:
            Similarly, I don't see a
            mention in the web-page to the definition of "snark"
            as "the snuff of a candle", surely an important
            definition for 'The Snark', whose protagonist is
            called "candle ends" and who is snuffed out by the end
            of the poem.

            Hold on... this is not a definition of "snark", as far as I can see. It's a definition of "snirt".
             
             No mention is made of the snicker
            meanings

            This is also not a definition of "snark".
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