or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

First Things First

Yesterday I used the word "console" as an illustration of something, and as I was typing it I realized that, of course, we have two different "console"s in English, a verb and a noun--and as is usually the case, the verb has the stress on the second syllable ("con-SOLE") while the noun has the stress on the first ("CON-sole"). (In case you were wondering whether this really is usually the case, here, courtesy of Wikipedia, is a nice long list of words that match this pattern. Record! Desert! Abstract!)

"Console" and "console" can't possibly be related, can they?

They can not. "Console" the noun is evidently related to "consolidate", which is to say "to unite into a whole", from Latin "com-", "together", plus "solidare", "to make firm"; the primary meaning of "console" is "a housing for elements of a system", such as a stereo or a computer. "Console" the verb, on the other hand, is also from Latin "com-" plus "solari", "to comfort", "to put into a good mood", which ought to look familiar from the related word "solace".


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