valeriy_osipov (valeriy_osipov) wrote in linguaphiles,


Words get their birth and die out. The life expectancy, the vitality of each word depends on the need for it and on its ease 'in circulation'. Words are like coins, money in circulation. The latter developed from shells and skins to metals, then to coins, later - to paper bills, thereafter - to electronic money.

So are the words. All of them have 'a service life' and then get replaced with more convenient and useful ones in new circumstances and new reality.

The 'long-livers' among the words are conjunctions, prepositions, suffixes, pronouns and articles. They are the ones which are most in demand, and therefore are present in any texts. They inevitably become the most convenient to use, since over the centuries they have managed to be 'polished' in millions of lips - like pebbles polished by waves and sand. These words are always the shortest, easy to pronounce. And the brevity and simplicity of a word are the apparent signs of its antiquity.

Valeriy D. Osipov, PhD

Tags: articles, english, language history, participles, russian, vocabulary


    To the memory of Vladislav Illich-Svitych. This is just to bring attention to something very ‘Nostratic’ (far beyond ‘Indo-European’ languages —…

  • Three one-hundredths of a second

    (Somewhat prompted by watching the Olympics.) Why is that silly redundancy there in "three one-hundredths of a second"? Nobody says "two one-thirds…

  • EUROPA, etymology

    "... Agenor, king of the Phoenician city of Sidon, had a beautiful daughter Europa, literally (in Greek) the "wide-eyed". In fact, of course, not…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment