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betterthantoday
1272672.  Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:38 am Reply with quote

Hello! I am new here - though have listened to NSTAAF for ages, now - and I'm a Puzzle Editor (which is a real job! Hear that, mum and dad?) so I write crosswords and all sorts. It is probably the worst nightmare of many people *but* it does mean I come across things that I find quite interesting quite often. But then, I'm easily pleased.

I didn't actually know which forum to post this question on - I was going to write something about selfies, which have existed since at least 1643. The OED just introduced 'selfy/selfie' - not the photograph type, obvs - meaning 'self-centred, selfish'. It's probably more appropriate now written as self-y.

I'm making a bit of a leap with assuming a noun form would have been 'a selfie' as in a selfish person, but I was wondering - are there any other words that have become pretty much obsolete and then come back as something different? Words often change meaning, but I don't know of many others that leave entirely and then get coincidentally reincarnated. I did Google ancient hashtags and mansplainers, to no avail...

 
GuyBarry
1272673.  Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:04 am Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum. How about "robot"? (I only discovered this while looking something up for another thread on the forum.)

https://interestingliterature.com/2016/03/14/the-curious-origin-of-the-word-robot/

Quote:
‘Robot’ makes its debut in the English language, perhaps surprisingly, during the Victorian age: the first citation is from 1839. But it doesn’t refer to the humanoid machines of a million science-fiction novels and films made since, but rather to a ‘central European system of serfdom, by which a tenant’s rent was paid in forced labour or service’ (OED). This word came to English via the German, though the word ultimately derives from the Czech robota meaning ‘forced labour’ or ‘slavery’. Not a very pleasant etymology; though the Austrian Empire banned slavery in 1848, which is something.

The modern meaning of the word ‘robot’ has its origins in a 1920 play by the remarkable and fascinating Czech writer Karel Čapek. The play, titled R. U. R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), begins in a factory which manufactures artificial people, the ‘universal robots’ of the play’s title.

 
Spud McLaren
1272702.  Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:49 pm Reply with quote

Welcome, BTT.

Bigly

Scumbag

 
Jenny
1272705.  Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:54 pm Reply with quote

Welcome BTT - I think you ought to meet R L Davies, one of our regular posters, who spends a lot of time copy-editing puzzles.

 
crissdee
1272713.  Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:06 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
Welcome to the forum. How about "robot"? (I only discovered this while looking something up for another thread on the forum.)

https://interestingliterature.com/2016/03/14/the-curious-origin-of-the-word-robot/
‘Robot’ makes its debut in the English language, perhaps surprisingly, during the Victorian age: the first citation is from 1839


That makes me feel much better about using the word in one of my Victorian stories.

 
franticllama
1272758.  Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:39 pm Reply with quote

I'm curious now Criss - in what context did you use it?

Also - Hi BTT

 
crissdee
1272768.  Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:21 pm Reply with quote

In the context of a giant mechanical man from another planet.

 
franticllama
1272769.  Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:25 pm Reply with quote

Ah, that makes sense. Of a sort. Well, I could see how it could make sense in the context :)

 
betterthantoday
1272922.  Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:51 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Welcome BTT - I think you ought to meet R L Davies, one of our regular posters, who spends a lot of time copy-editing puzzles.


I'll have to track him down - I wouldn't be surprised if we work in the same circles!

 
suze
1272926.  Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:18 pm Reply with quote

If you do ever encounter her, be sure to use the correct pronoun!

Welcome to these forums, anyway!

 
betterthantoday
1272928.  Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:26 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
If you do ever encounter her, be sure to use the correct pronoun!

Welcome to these forums, anyway!


Oh dear... I'll introduce myself with an apology...

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
1272990.  Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:05 am Reply with quote

Hi there betterthantoday.

 
monzac
1273087.  Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:37 am Reply with quote

G'day betterthantoday :)

 

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