Sunday, February 3, 2008


In thinking about words, word origins and definitions, for most critics, there is one source to turn to, the Oxford English Dictionary. I thought it might be instructive to look at the etymology of two words through this filter: drawing-because it might add a little depth to the idea of how one considers it, and opinion--because it seems rather timely.

Though “drawing” is recorded as entering the English language circa 1305, it was then describing motion (as in to draw a weapon...or a bucket of water), it isn’t until 1530 that it is applied in the sense that it relates to mark-making.

Here’s that entry:
2. a. The formation of a line by drawing some tracing instrument from point to point of a surface; representation by lines, delineation; hence, ‘any mode of representation in which the delineation of form predominates over considerations of colour’; the draughtsman's art.

"Opinion" seems to have entered the lexicon in 1340, and seems to always have been about the view of the individual.

Here’s that entry:
1. As a count noun: a view held about a particular issue; a judgement formed or a conclusion reached; a belief; a religious or political conviction. Formerly (also): a plan, an intention (obs.).

It is interesting then, that the view of the individual asserts itself when the “one team one fight” mentality is challenged instead of hiding behind the shield of "league". And to note that since opinions are (often) supposition and not based in fact, they can be recanted. See: jaxcal chat.

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