an indulgencePosted: April 7, 2023 Filed under: Language Leave a comment
When I did my 2022 income taxes this year I noticed I did not have a lot in the way of expenses to offset my freelance income. Not that I made all that much, but I thought too much of that income was exposed as taxable.
Then in mid-March I was looking at my freelance business income year-to-date. Still not that much. But I also looked at my business expenses year-to-date again and realized that there wasn’t that much there in the way of expenses to offset my taxable income.
I had been thinking about the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), since Oxford University Press had shut down my much-loved free Oxford Dictionaries Online and ultimately redirected its successor, Lexico, to dictionary.com, a site for which I have no use.
The OED online was once absurdly expensive unless you had access through your public library or other institution. But they have since updated their pricing policy, and for individual users in the United States it’s now $100.00 a year. (I was going to say “only” but at that price it’s not really “only.”)
So I took the plunge and indulged myself. I’m glad I did.
I have learned some cool things already. The English word Easter is cognate with the Old Dutch ōstermānōth, that is Easter-month, or April. But, and here is the cool thing, it is also cognate with the ancient Greek ἠώς (eos), or dawn. We find the word in the Iliad: “The rosy-fingered dawn (eos) brings her message of light to men and immortals.”
I was reading a book that discussed Jerome’s hagiography of St. Hilarion. According to the OED, the first use of the word hagiography was documented in 1631. The OED tells us that the sarcastic use of the term (“Usually somewhat depreciative” as they phrase it), referring to a biography that excessively praises an individual without noting anything of their shortcomings, only goes back to 1924.
I’m going to thoroughly enjoy my OED access.