How can we rejoice always?

I like words and their origin (etymology if you prefer). I find it interesting how we change the meaning of words. Take the word “peruse” for example; people understand it to mean “glance over, skim,” etc. Yet originally the word meant to read completely and in exacting detail. Here’s another word whose meaning has done an about face: egregious. Today it means to be conspicuous or flagrant – and almost always in a negative sense. Yet the origin of the word from the Latin ex– “out of” and greg– “flock” to give us egregious or “illustrious.” Today we would say “outstanding.”

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Finding Joy

I like words, their origin (or etymology if you prefer) and the ways in words affect people – and people affect words. Such as the word “peruse” which people understand to mean “glance over, skim,” etc. Yet originally the word means (and I would argue still does) to read completely and in exacting detail. Another interesting word whose meaning has done an about face is “egregious.” Today it means to be conspicuous or flagrant – and almost always in a negative sense. Yet the origin of the word from the Latin ex-“out of” and greg- “flock” to give us egregius “illustrious” or in a more modern sense, “outstanding.” Somewhere in the late 16th century the word was increasingly used in an ironic sense, until that usage became it every day meaning. Continue reading