The Berean Expositor Volume 38 - Page 102 of 249 Index | Zoom |
It would be similarly a surprise to many to be told that when a visitor leaves a house,
or takes his leave, even though the intention is similar, namely that of taking his
departure, the two words nevertheless are totally unrelated. In the former instance leave
is simply old English leven "to quit" and so depart. But "to take leave" is the old English
leve, permission, and akin to life, be-lieve and love.
When we say that some antiquated or superstitious belief is "exploded" we naturally
think of a spent bomb, or of an explosion that has "blown the argument to bits". This is
quite beside the original meaning of the figure. The word really retains the meaning of
the Latin ex-plodere i.e. ex-plaudere, to drive or hoot off the stage an unpopular actor,
the direct opposite of "applaud". Milton says that Enoch was "exploded" by his
unbelieving contemporaries, but Milton never intended the thought that because Enoch
was "not found" that he had been "blown to bits".
The number of examples of false analogies and misinterpretations could be multiplied
to many pages, but sufficient has been indicated to show that great care must be exercised
in coming to a conclusion concerning the etymology of any word or phrase, lest by
coming to a false conclusion we should be found building our doctrinal teaching upon
sand. The examples of false analogy and misinterpretation have been selected from the
many that are given in the book The Folk and their Word-Lore by A. Smythe Palmer,
The reader is advised to check the etymology offered by any dictionary that may be
employed, or any book that is read, by such a work as The Concise etymological
Dictionary of the English language by W. W. Skeat.
The senses and the parts of speech.
pp. 116 - 119
We have suggested that in the pursuit of "meaning" the activities of the mind can be
reduced to six stages or processes. The first three being Sensation, Memory, Reason, and
then limiting our investigation to the "meaning" of Holy Scripture, we have another three
steps or links, Revelation, Translation and Interpretation. Let us give attention to these
essential steps, and begin, where all must and do begin with "sensation".
Human language occasionally manifests by a sudden gleam, by a momentary relation
of words, the underlying basis of all thinking. This is seen in the fact that in English the
word "sense" has two meanings. The first meaning that which limits the meaning of the
word "sense" to the five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, the second
meaning that which indicates the ultimate goal of "sense" that is "meaning", as when we
say "the sense of this remark is . . . . .", "Take the sense or the meaning" or as in
Neh. 8: 8 "They read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense". So
also we speak of a person who fainted, that he is "senseless" referring only to the