|Saturday, April 12, 2003||
continuation of war may mean untold suffering and destruction. All
kinds of pressures begin to tell on men and manners. Out of these
pressures emerges language in changed shades. The word war game, for
instance. A compound made up of war and game, it carries the sense of
the horror of war along with the play of a game. Together, war game
refers to a military exercise carried out to test or improve tactical
expertise. It can be used in the form of a verb with a hyphen,
war-game, to denote engaging in a campaign using the strategies of an
actual military action. The noun war gaming also comes from here, with
the same meaning. In recent communications from the USA, a new
derivation has come into being with the acknowledgement that the enemy
it is fighting against is different from the one it had ‘war-gamed’
against. Obviously, a word that the dictionary had marked as typical
U.S. English one can become a part of global English. Then, the
context of the situation gives a fresh dimension to its meaning. At
first look, the meaning of war-gamed is the military exercise
conducted to train the soldiers. But, considering public confession of
‘misunderestimation’, is it also a possibility that war-gamed
refers to the diplomatic and political manoeuvres that took place
earlier? The birth of a new word?
Handiwork is today being used in the context of fixing responsibility for certain acts. Handiwork means something that a person has made or done or the making of things strictly by hand. It is not a compound of hand and work; it comes from the Old English handgeweorc, from hand and geweorc, meaning something made.
An advocate is a person who fights a case on behalf of a client in court. By virtue of this function of being a representative, an advocate is also a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy as in the case of an army chief supporting a particular act. The word advocate is made up of the two Latin words: ad (to) and vocare (to call); advocate being call to one’s aid. A foremost advocate is the supporter most prominent in position like, for instance, a Pentagon chief. Fore is an Old English prefix that means before in time or previously.
Hindi has a large corpus
of words that belong to a group in which words are created from the same
base but are quite diverse in meaning. Phonetic change of a very simple
level often brings about a semantic change. The deadly hathiyar or
weapon is thus related to the harmless hathaura or hammer, hathauti
or manual skill, hathi or elephant, hatheli or the
palm of the hand, hattha or a handle, hathiyana or to
cheat and hathri or the wheel of a spinning machine. All these
words are kinsmen because they all come from hath or hand.