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ALTER (Is this an English word of Greek origin ???)

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ALTER (Is this an English word of Greek origin ???)

Postby Neos » Sat May 17, 2008 8:14 pm

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Postby annis » Sat May 17, 2008 10:13 pm

The best authority for these questions is the OED:

a. 14th c. Fr. altére-r (Pr. or It. alterar) ad. med.L. altera-re, f. alter other.

So it's from a late Latin verb built upon alter.

As with so much Latinate vocabulary in English, this word got filtered through French first.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sat May 17, 2008 10:18 pm

Neos, I appreciate that you have given consideration to my critique. This is good. Open mindness is extremely important.

I would like you to consider something else: what is the source for these interpretations of etymology? You say here that, perhaps there is one of two direct Greek origins for "alter," for example, or a Latin origin. I insist (as I believe will the majority insist) that the Latin origin is the correct one.

How do I know this?

It is the source of my understanding. I can cite this reference from Webster (and countless others, including Latin dictionaries) that demonstrate the origin of "alter" :

*** http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alter
Main entry: al·ter
Pronunciation:
\ˈȯl-tər\
Function:
verb
Inflected Form(s):
al·tered; al·ter·ing \-t(ə-)riŋ\
Etymology:
Middle English, from Medieval Latin alterare, from Latin alter other (of two); akin to Latin alius other — more at else

Date:
14th century
transitive verb
1 : to make different without changing into something else
2 : castrate, spay
intransitive verb
: to become different
***

This source and others confirm my "theory." What references (published, mind you, and formal) confirm your theory?
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To Lucus Eques

Postby Neos » Sun May 18, 2008 8:59 am

Thank you for your constructive comments and your polite manners.
Best regard
John Neos
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Postby IreneY » Sun May 18, 2008 10:07 pm

I am sorry but I can't be polite to someone who makes a mockery of linguistics, shames Greeks and tells the world that there were people who had no word for i.e. "milk" until they got it from the Greeks I suppose. Or changed the word they had and adopted a word derived from the Greek.
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Postby Amadeus » Mon May 19, 2008 3:54 am

IreneY wrote:I am sorry but I can't be polite


Sure you can! :) You just have to try a little harder! lol Remember the old saying about the flies and the honey and vinegar?
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.
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Postby IreneY » Mon May 19, 2008 5:44 pm

Doesn't really work in this case and, in any case, I really can't. I lost my patience with such people long ago you see. It's sad.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon May 19, 2008 11:34 pm

Actually, Irene, I think he might have been genuinely thanking me for being polite. I hope I was polite anyway. :) It wasn't a sarcastic jibe at you, I don't think.
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