Saturday, March 31, 2012

Etymology, or, Seeing the trees for the forest

eautiful.         Pronunciation:  /ˈbjuːtɪfʊl/
Forms: beautefull, beutifull, beutyfull, bewtifull, bewtyfull, beuty-, butyful, beautifull, beautyfull, beautiful, beautifull.
Etymology:  < beauty n. + -ful suffix. Occas. compared with -er, -est, usually with more, most.

A.2.a.  Affording keen pleasure to the senses generally.
A.3. Impressing with charm the intellectual or moral sense, through inherent fitness or grace, or exact adaptation to a purpose. 1
Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.2
beautyn.   Pronunciation/ˈbjuːtɪ/
Etymology:  Middle English bealte,  beute, < Old French bealtebeaute,  biaute,  earlier beltet, modern beauté, (cognate with Provencal beltat,  beutat, Spanish beldad, Italian beltà ) < late Latin *bellitātem, < bellus beautiful: see -ty suffix1.

I. abstractly: 2. That quality or combination of qualities which affords keen pleasure to other senses, or which charms the intellectual or moral faculties, through inherent grace, or fitness to a desired end; cf. beautiful adj. 3.

   A girl came in the café and sat by herself at a table near the window. She was very pretty with a face fresh as a newly minted coin if they minted coins in smooth flesh with rain-freshened skin, and her hair was black as a crow's wing and cut sharply and diagonally across her cheek.
   I looked at her and she disturbed me and made me very excited. I wished I could put her in the story, or anywhere, but she had placed herself so she could watch the street and the entry and I knew she was waiting for someone. So I went on writing.
   The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it. I ordered another run St. James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil sharpener with the shavings curling into the saucer under my drink.
   I've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil. 3
1. "Beautiful, adj. and n." Second edition, 1989; online version December 2011. <http://0-www.oed.com.libsys.arlingtonva.us/view/Entry/16680>; accessed 26 February 2012. Earlier version first published in New English Dictionary, 1887.
2. Baudelaire, Charles. "L’Invitation au Voyage." Online version 21 mars 2012 à 15:42 <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Invitation_au_voyage_(poéme)>; accessed 30 March 2012.
3. Hemingway, Ernest. A Moveable Feast. New York: Scribner, 1964. Print.

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