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From: "Willard Solie" <>
Subject: [ABOUT WORDS] poetic history of words . . . .
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2003 09:41:04 -0700


The following poem appears in the mystery IRISH COFFEE by Ralph Mcinerny, a distinguished professor at Notre Dame and a prolific and talented writer.

Isidore of Seville loved etymology,
Loved to analyze the source of words,
Or invented them without apology,
Visigoths and others with their herds
Exchanged their tongues for Latin, more or less,
Mixing barbarian dialects with it.
Ancient authors always had the wit,
Received, then polished, with which they could express
Young thoughts in language old.
Soon the wine was watered, the language bastardized,
Harsh sounds, with meanings harsh with northern cold,
Upset the tongue that Virgil standardized,
Subject to invasion like the empire,
True Latin, having risen, fell.
Eventually in Seville our Isidore
Reverently misread the words in his provincial cell.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ETYMOLOGIES - a major writing of Isidore of Seville

Willard








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