Scribo wrote:I...don't know, I mean it's a very old book and lexicography and linguistics have moved on heavily... Brill recently released an etymological dictionary ...
Agree with above. Etymology is occasionally useful for compound hapax legomena. Some compounds are semantically transparent but you cannot count on it. Lexical semantics has indeed moved on from the days when an etymological dictionary was considered a serious source of information about word meaning. I am not anything close to being up-to-date on the subject. I work with a model that sees a word in context
as key (think database) into a complex matrix of shared meaning in a community which has a coherent shared cognitive framework. In other words, the meaning is only known to those within the subculture who have internalized cognitive framework. Within a framework, there are scenarios, scripts, stories, plot lines, myths, and so forth that provide a context and the individual word simply occupies a place in this network of assumptions that makes this culture exist as a community of meaning.
In pluralistic societies a community of shared meaning is only realized within a subculture. The general society has a myth of shared meaning it appeals to but in reality it doesn't exist. This myth is useful to get people to pay their taxes and join the army, but when the myth breaks down your suicide rate in the army becomes a greater cause of death than combat casualties.
C. Stirling Bartholomew