or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, March 16, 2007


This will be short and sweet.

Today on the way to work I saw a sign advertising some event or other at the Moncton Coliseum, which I think it is safe to say is not as grand as the original Roman Coliseum, and then it occurred to me that the spelling Colosseum makes sense (because it is clearly derived from "Colossus"), but "Coliseum" is just kind of strange, and so of course I found myself wondering, without recourse to reference materials, if they were actually two different words, and then the word "collision" popped into my head, which it always does when I see the word "Coliseum", and even though I knew perfectly well that it had to be a Latin construction of "con-" or "com-" (with the second consonant changed to make it fit better with the subsequent "-l-") and some other Latin word that probably means "to hit", I didn't actually know where it came from and whether or not it did in fact have anything to do with "Coliseum", though it probably didn't.

And it doesn't. "Colosseum" and "Coliseum" are just two versions of the same word that happened to co-exist in English. They are both of course unrelated to "collision", which comes from "com-" plus "laedere", "to strike", just as I had thought, and "laedere" is a word that also gave rise to such English words as "lesion" (a wound, such as that caused by being struck) and "elide" (to omit, which is to say to strike out).


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