Monthly gleanings for April 2017

The previous post on Nostratic linguistics was also part of the “gleanings,” because the inspiration for it came from a query, but a few more tidbits have to be taken care of before summer sets in.
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The previous post on Nostratic linguistics was also part of the “gleanings,” because the inspiration for it came from a query, but a few more tidbits have to be taken care of before summer sets in. Sleeveless errand (See the post for 26 April 2017.) Skeat’s idea that sleeveless means “imperfect; hence poor, like a garment without sleeves” does not go much farther than Horne Tooke’s suggestion that sleeveless should be understood as “without a cover or pretence.” Skeat dismissed Tooke’s idea as making little sense, but the difficulty lies elsewhere. We have to find out where it was bad, dangerous, or silly to wear a sleeveless piece of clothing. Stephen Goranson wrote me a letter and cited several examples in which sleeveless referred to knights-errant or arrant. In some way, those examples, though late, may confirm the idea that the figurative sense of sleeveless emerged in connection with chivalry. Also, perhaps errant evoked the idea of errand. But many details remain hidden. As for. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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