Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/164

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the most untrammeled and democratic tongue ever linked to an advanced and progressive type of human culture. When the term sociology was first introduced, narrow-minded classicists and other would-be guardians of the purity of the language objected that, since it was not composed of two Greek or of two Latin elements, but happened to be made up of one part Latin and one part Greek, it could not be admitted into the vocabularly of modern English. But how many "pure" words have filled forgotten graves since it was born! And this is but one example of the attempts to make the classical tail wag the English dog. Did English tolerate no hybrids, we should be without Christmas, dislike, grateful, pastime, becalm, dishearten, and many more of our common words. And where were the "purists" and the classicists when, in response to the needs of the political or the scientific moments, as the case might be, anti-Tammany, near-genius, re-tattooing, pre-totemic, pseudo-mugwump, semi-taboo and other interesting terms came into being? Hybridity is no efficient scarecrow for such a tongue as modern English. A fair field and no favor is now the law of survival and entries are welcome from all sources, known or unknown. The satisfying term that appears at the psycholgical moment has to undergo no recherche de paternité. English possesses some most remarkable hybrids—an example or two must suffice, here.

a. Remacadamizing.—In English one may speak of "remacadamizing" the road or, using the word as a noun, of its "remacadamizing." It is certain that no other language in the world can boast a word of such mixed and varied hybridity. Remacadamizing resolves itself into the following components: (1) re-, a Latin prefix, signifying "a repetitition, or doing over again"; (2) mac, a Gaelic word for "son," in common use as a prefix for genealogical purposes; (3) Adam, the representative in a number of European languages (including Gaelic and English) of the Hebrew name of the first man, according to the Mosaic account of the creation as given in the first book of our Bible; (4) -iz (or -ize), the modern English representative, through French -iser, of the Greek verbal terminal-ιζειν; (5) -ing, the English suffix of the participle present, verbal noun, etc. The word remacadamizing thus represents five languages: Latin, Gaelic, Hebrew, Greek and English. The "root" (macadam) of this word exhibits also in another way the vitality of our English speech and its ability to draft new words into its vocabulary, whenever the need arises. The term macadam is really the family name of the man, John Macadam, who, in 1819, devised the well-known method of paving roads with small broken stones, etc. Celtic and Semitic had already combined to produce Macadam, "son of Adam," which the English language then took up and further molded to suit its genius.

&. Siouan.—When the late Major J. W. Powell, the anthropologist.