Quantum Physics: illusion and reality

48 views
Skip to first unread message

TOY

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 3:36:32 AM1/15/04
to
I saw a book entited "Quantum Physics: Illusion and Reality." My question is
whether there is subtle difference between "Quantum Physics: Illusion and
Reality" and "Quantum Physics: Reality and Illusion"

Thanks

Simon R. Hughes

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 3:39:10 AM1/15/04
to
Thus spake TOY:

> I saw a book entited "Quantum Physics: Illusion and Reality." My question is
> whether there is subtle difference between "Quantum Physics: Illusion and
> Reality" and "Quantum Physics: Reality and Illusion"

I suppose that you could argue that the order of the terms in the
subtitle constitutes some kind of priority, but that is not
necessarily the case.

"And" is a coordinating conjunction, and the elements around it
are afforded equality.

--
Simon R. Hughes

Armond Perretta

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 10:57:51 AM1/15/04
to

There is a subtle difference, in that the former just sounds better to me
(American English speaker). Bear in mind that a book title doesn't
necessarily reflect an author's preference.

--
Good luck and good sailing.
s/v Kerry Deare of Barnegat
http://kerrydeare.tripod.com

Evan Kirshenbaum

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 6:17:15 PM1/15/04
to
"Armond Perretta" <newsgro...@REMOVEcomcast.net> writes:

> There is a subtle difference, in that the former just sounds better
> to me (American English speaker). Bear in mind that a book title
> doesn't necessarily reflect an author's preference.

My wife worked as a college textbook editor (mostly engineering), and
I believe that in most cases the titles come from the authors, or at
least I never heard her talking about an author who disliked the
title. The exception might be on an nth edition, where the current
author isn't the original author, or a multi-author work where some of
the authors like it better than others.

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |Now every hacker knows
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 | That the secret to survivin'
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |Is knowin' when the time is free
| And what's the load and queue
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com |'Cause everyone's a cruncher
(650)857-7572 | And everyone's a user
|And the best that you can hope for
http://www.kirshenbaum.net/ | Is a crash when you're through


Armond Perretta

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 7:50:25 PM1/15/04
to
Evan Kirshenbaum wrote:
> "Armond Perretta" <newsgro...@REMOVEcomcast.net> writes:
>
>> ... Bear in mind that a book title

>> doesn't necessarily reflect an author's preference.
>
> My wife worked as a college textbook editor (mostly engineering),
> and I believe that in most cases the titles come from the authors,
> or at least I never heard her talking about an author who disliked
> the title ...

I wasn't limiting my comment to college textbooks, but it happens that
science textbook authors I've known have occasionally succumbed to editorial
pressure to "juice up" their work. 'Course I'd expect to see this less
often among mathematicians than among, say, mass market practitioners.

BTW I'm not familiar with the captioned book, but it is quite possible that
such a title could easily be a popularization effort. I'd hazard that Carl
Sagan spent at least a few minutes discussing book titles with his editors,
probably between talk show appearances.

Mark Brader

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 1:58:38 AM1/16/04
to
Chan S.F.:

> > I saw a book entited "Quantum Physics: Illusion and Reality." My
> > question is whether there is subtle difference between "Quantum
> > Physics: Illusion and Reality" and "Quantum Physics: Reality and
> > Illusion"

Armond Perretta:

> There is a subtle difference, in that the former just sounds better
> to me (American English speaker). ...

I think we can be more specific. In a title of the form "A: B and C",
where B and C are contrasting expressions, there is a certain degree
of emphasis on C. The book may be equally about both the B and the C
aspects of A, but if not, then the title implies that the C aspect is
the one that it's primarily about. While you can't assume it from the
title, the "Reality and Illusion" version might even be a book intended
to suggest that the whole of quantum physics is an illusion. But no
one would use the first title for such a book; more likely it is about
illusions people have about the subject, and what the reality is.

Similarly, a title of the form "A: B or C?" may be used for a book
that takes a neutral attitude, but if not, it suggests that the book
will show that A is C, not B. Compare these hypothetical titles:

"Next Week's Crisis: Danger or Opportunity?"
"Next Week's Crisis: Opportunity or Danger?"
--
Mark Brader | Yet again, I begged him to explain himself in plain
Toronto | English. This request always surprises him, as he
m...@vex.net | is always under the extraordinary impression that
| he has done so. -- Lynn & Jay, "Yes Minister"

My text in this article is in the public domain.

Armond Perretta

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 9:47:09 AM1/16/04
to
Mark Brader wrote:
> Chan S.F.:
>>> I saw a book entited "Quantum Physics: Illusion and Reality." My
>>> question is whether there is subtle difference between "Quantum
>>> Physics: Illusion and Reality" and "Quantum Physics: Reality and
>>> Illusion"
>
> Armond Perretta:
>> There is a subtle difference, in that the former just sounds better
>> to me (American English speaker). ...
>
> I think we can be more specific. In a title of the form "A: B and
> C", where B and C are contrasting expressions, there is a certain
> degree of emphasis on C. The book may be equally about both the B
> and the C aspects of A, but if not, then the title implies that the
> C aspect is the one that it's primarily about. While you can't
> assume it from the title, the "Reality and Illusion" version might
> even be a book intended to suggest that the whole of quantum
> physics is an illusion. But no one would use the first title for
> such a book; more likely it is about illusions people have about
> the subject, and what the reality is.
>
> Similarly, a title of the form "A: B or C?" may be used for a book
> that takes a neutral attitude, but if not, it suggests that the book
> will show that A is C, not B. Compare these hypothetical titles:
>
> "Next Week's Crisis: Danger or Opportunity?"
> "Next Week's Crisis: Opportunity or Danger?"

I believe you have quantified my innate feelings about this rather well.

Donna Richoux

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 10:22:47 AM1/16/04
to
Armond Perretta <newsgro...@REMOVEcomcast.net> wrote:

When Mark put the "or" in there, it made a lot of difference. I agree,
"X-Vitamins: Panacea or Fraud" would mean that in the writer's opinion,
X-Vitamins were often described as a panacea but more likely were a
fraud. "Are they a panacea, as often claimed, or are they -- new thought
-- really a fraud?" Reverse "fraud" and "panacea" and you get the
opposite message.

However, the original question had "and," which seems much more neutral.
I think the one named second does linger a bit in the mind, the same way
as the last word of nearly any sentence gains a certain emphasis.

--
Best -- Donna Richoux

Evan Kirshenbaum

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 1:33:45 PM1/16/04
to
m...@vex.net (Mark Brader) writes:

> Similarly, a title of the form "A: B or C?" may be used for a book
> that takes a neutral attitude, but if not, it suggests that the book
> will show that A is C, not B. Compare these hypothetical titles:
>
> "Next Week's Crisis: Danger or Opportunity?"
> "Next Week's Crisis: Opportunity or Danger?"

Does anybody remember what was the original "X: Threat or Menace?"?

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |English grammar is not taught in
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |primary or secondary schools in the
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |United States. Sometimes some
|mythology is taught under that
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com |rubric, but luckily it's usually
(650)857-7572 |ignored, except by the credulous.
| John Lawler
http://www.kirshenbaum.net/


Mark Brader

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 4:38:05 PM1/16/04
to
Evan Kirshenbaum writes:
> Does anybody remember what was the original "X: Threat or Menace?"?

Well, here's the earliest examine in Deja Goo; it's from 1983.

http://www.google.com/groups?selm=245%40inmet.UUCP&output=gplain

But my feeling from the way it's used here is that it must already have
been an established phrase at the time.
--
Mark Brader "A moment's thought would have shown him,
Toronto but a moment is a long time and thought
m...@vex.net is a painful process." -- A. E. Housman

Ray Heindl

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 4:47:36 PM1/16/04
to
Evan Kirshenbaum <kirsh...@hpl.hp.com> wrote:

> Does anybody remember what was the original "X: Threat or Menace?"?

Not the original, but apropos this thread:
"COLONS: THREAT OR MENACE?"
<http://www.languagehat.com/archives/001073.php>

Do the thousands of people who use "Threat or Menace" titles on the web
know what it means? Are they using it in jest or seriously? In my
minuscule sample, the latter seems to be the case. Or is it maybe a
cliche/idiom/whatever that I'm not familiar with?

--
Ray Heindl
(remove the Xs to reply)

R F

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 7:12:56 PM1/16/04
to

On Fri, 16 Jan 2004, Mark Brader wrote:

> Evan Kirshenbaum writes:
> > Does anybody remember what was the original "X: Threat or Menace?"?
>
> Well, here's the earliest examine in Deja Goo; it's from 1983.
>
> http://www.google.com/groups?selm=245%40inmet.UUCP&output=gplain
>
> But my feeling from the way it's used here is that it must already have
> been an established phrase at the time.

I found this in a 1972 New York Times article on _The National Lampoon_
humor magazine:

[_The National Lampoon_] has also done miniparodies of Cosmopolitan,
Harper's Bazaar, The Whole Earth Catalogue, a turn-of-the-century Sears,
Roebuck Catalogue of equipment for sadists[,] and has rendered an array
of visual styles (Calley looking like Mad's What-Me-Worry boy; F. Scott
Fitzgerald in an art-deco comic called "The Zircon as Big as the Taft"
and a moralistic poster showing a man, pants down, chasing a girl after
reading some "French Porno" and subsequently being arrested, with the
caption "Pornography: Threat or Menace?").

I think the phrase "threat or menace" itself may have long been a
familiar rhetoricalism, maybe rooted in some particular legal phrase or
formula.


R J Valentine

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 1:10:58 AM1/17/04
to
On Fri, 16 Jan 2004 19:12:56 -0500 R F <rfon...@alumni.wesleyan.edu> wrote:
...

} I think the phrase "threat or menace" itself may have long been a
} familiar rhetoricalism, maybe rooted in some particular legal phrase or
} formula.

I think you're on to something there. The second and simplest definition
of "threat" in my trusty old _Black's Law Dictionary_ is "menace".

--
R. J. Valentine <mailto:r...@smart.net>

Ben Zimmer

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 2:55:38 AM1/17/04
to
R F wrote:
>
> On Fri, 16 Jan 2004, Mark Brader wrote:
>
> > Evan Kirshenbaum writes:
> > > Does anybody remember what was the original "X: Threat or Menace?"?
> >
> > Well, here's the earliest examine in Deja Goo; it's from 1983.
> >
> > http://www.google.com/groups?selm=245%40inmet.UUCP&output=gplain
> >
> > But my feeling from the way it's used here is that it must already have
> > been an established phrase at the time.
>
> I found this in a 1972 New York Times article on _The National Lampoon_
> humor magazine:
[snip]
>"Pornography: Threat or Menace?"

>
> I think the phrase "threat or menace" itself may have long been a
> familiar rhetoricalism, maybe rooted in some particular legal phrase or
> formula.

The 1999 documentary "Grass" includes clips from a black-and-white
educational short called "Marijuana: Threat or Menace?". One review
says the short is from the 1950s:

http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/showreview.php3?ID=3281

Donna Richoux

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 7:54:43 AM1/17/04
to
Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> wrote:

You might read it that way, but you could also read it as the reviewer
making a little joke by referring to a current catchphrase.

There are only about 20 hits for "Marijuana: Threat or Menace" on the
Web. There are 53,700 hits for "Reefer Madness," which I know to be an
actual example of the sort of propaganda film you mention.

If this thing was really the name of a real film, it would turn up in
more places. The Internet Movie Database has nothing at all with "threat
or menace". They know about "Reefer Madness."

I can't swear to what's going on, but I think some of those who are
publishing reviews of "Grass" are fostering confusion as to whether
"Marijuana: Threat or Menace" is the name of something. It may be a
humorous line *in* "Grass" or even shown in "Grass" as a mock
documentary. But all that would be modern humor.

There's one review of "Grass" that is published in several different
places that says:

From the story of America's first drug czar, to the
absurd scare tactics behind propaganda films like
Reefer Madness, and Marijuana: Threat or Menace,
director Ron Mann poignantly and humorously exposes
the social, political and economic facts behind this
enduring weed, and the extent to which it has
profoundly shaped our culture.

That sure would make people think there is such a film, but still, I
think it's a mistake. Mistakes get passed around.

(Someone's got to set up the straight lines.)

--
Best - Donna Richoux


The Bibliographer

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 10:31:21 AM1/17/04
to
In article <4008EA7A...@midway.uchicago.edu>,

Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> wrote:
>R F wrote:
>> > But my feeling from the way it's used here is that it must already have
>> > been an established phrase at the time.
>> I think the phrase "threat or menace" itself may have long been a
>> familiar rhetoricalism, maybe rooted in some particular legal phrase or
>> formula.

Yes, exactly so. There are many phrases, most of the dating from the
earlier fourteenth century, where the law was concerned with clarity of
language and intent, so that one word had an earlier English stem
(threat) and the other a Norman-French stem (menace). "Cease and
desist" is another such phrase, and there are many more.
--
Regards, Frank Young
tip...@wam.umd.edu 703-527-7684
Post Office Box 2793, Kensington, Maryland 20891
"Videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate... Nunc cognosco ex parte"

Donna Richoux

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 11:59:34 AM1/17/04
to
The Bibliographer <tip...@wam.umd.edu> wrote:

> In article <4008EA7A...@midway.uchicago.edu>,
> Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> wrote:
> >R F wrote:

> >> > But my feeling from the way it's used here is that it must already have
> >> > been an established phrase at the time.

> >> I think the phrase "threat or menace" itself may have long been a
> >> familiar rhetoricalism, maybe rooted in some particular legal phrase or
> >> formula.
>
> Yes, exactly so. There are many phrases, most of the dating from the
> earlier fourteenth century, where the law was concerned with clarity of
> language and intent, so that one word had an earlier English stem
> (threat) and the other a Norman-French stem (menace). "Cease and
> desist" is another such phrase, and there are many more.

While searching for the phrase, I accidentally typed "without threat or
menace" (I had been thinking about similar phrases like "without let or
hindrance") and that turned up a legal-use hit:

www.cops.usdoj.gov
Panhandling
by
Michael S. Scott
Problem-Oriented Guides for Police

... Passive panhandling is soliciting without threat or menace,
often without any words exchanged at all - just a cup or a hand
held out.

I just glanced down the list of plain "threat or menace" hits and saw
this one:

State of New Jersey
Hunting Statutes

... B: No person shall by threat or menace or in any
manner , try to deter a person, authorized to make
arrests under Title-23, from carrying out his duty

So, it does exist as a legal phrase. I wonder what the legal difference
is between a t. and an m. Words vs. actions?

Ben Zimmer

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 12:12:02 PM1/17/04
to
Donna Richoux wrote:

>
> Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> wrote:
>
> >
> > The 1999 documentary "Grass" includes clips from a black-and-white
> > educational short called "Marijuana: Threat or Menace?". One review
> > says the short is from the 1950s:
> >
> > http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/showreview.php3?ID=3281
>
> You might read it that way, but you could also read it as the reviewer
> making a little joke by referring to a current catchphrase.
>
> There are only about 20 hits for "Marijuana: Threat or Menace" on the
> Web. There are 53,700 hits for "Reefer Madness," which I know to be an
> actual example of the sort of propaganda film you mention.
>
> If this thing was really the name of a real film, it would turn up in
> more places. The Internet Movie Database has nothing at all with "threat
> or menace". They know about "Reefer Madness."

According to the "Grass" reviews, this was just an educational short,
not a full-length film like "Reefer Madness" (aka "Tell Your Children").
IMDb doesn't bother with such things, as far as I can tell.

> I can't swear to what's going on, but I think some of those who are
> publishing reviews of "Grass" are fostering confusion as to whether
> "Marijuana: Threat or Menace" is the name of something. It may be a
> humorous line *in* "Grass" or even shown in "Grass" as a mock
> documentary. But all that would be modern humor.
>
> There's one review of "Grass" that is published in several different
> places that says:
>
> From the story of America's first drug czar, to the
> absurd scare tactics behind propaganda films like
> Reefer Madness, and Marijuana: Threat or Menace,
> director Ron Mann poignantly and humorously exposes
> the social, political and economic facts behind this
> enduring weed, and the extent to which it has
> profoundly shaped our culture.
>
> That sure would make people think there is such a film, but still, I
> think it's a mistake. Mistakes get passed around.

The above is the blurb from the distributor of Mann's film, so you'd
expect them to get it right:

http://www.venturadistribution.com/catalog/serve/4647/Grass

I see nothing in other reviews of "Grass" to suggest that "M:ToM" was
*not* an actual short film...

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/issues/2000-07-13/film3.html
The movie opens with a clip from a black-and-white
film unbelievably identified as Marijuana: Threat or
Menace? (reminiscent of the National Lampoon's
"Homosexuality: Disease or Illness?").

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/entertainment/movies/reviews/grassosullivan.htm
Although Mann mixes in such sure-fire laugh-getters
as clips from propaganda films like the legendary
"Reefer Madness" and an educational short that asks
"Marijuana: Threat or Menace?," the film's legislative
story line – the passage of bills, laws and uniform
codes of prosecution – is a real buzz-kill.

Joshua Kreitzer

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 2:45:09 PM1/17/04
to
m...@vex.net (Mark Brader) wrote in message news:<100gmdt...@corp.supernews.com>...

> Evan Kirshenbaum writes:
> > Does anybody remember what was the original "X: Threat or Menace?"?
>
> Well, here's the earliest examine in Deja Goo; it's from 1983.
>
> http://www.google.com/groups?selm=245%40inmet.UUCP&output=gplain
>
> But my feeling from the way it's used here is that it must already have
> been an established phrase at the time.

My understanding is that "Threat or Menace?" derives from Spider-Man
comic books of the 1960s. Apparently the character J. Jonah Jameson
was portrayed as writing a series of newspaper editorials denouncing
the superhero, titled "Spider-Man: Threat or Menace?".

Joshua Kreitzer
grom...@hotmail.com

Evan Kirshenbaum

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 4:11:09 PM1/17/04
to
Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> writes:

> I see nothing in other reviews of "Grass" to suggest that "M:ToM" was
> *not* an actual short film...
>
> http://www.miaminewtimes.com/issues/2000-07-13/film3.html
> The movie opens with a clip from a black-and-white
> film unbelievably identified as Marijuana: Threat or
> Menace? (reminiscent of the National Lampoon's
> "Homosexuality: Disease or Illness?").

Actually, I read that as saying that whoever wrote it does indeed
believe that M:ToM is *not* an actual short film (or at least that
that isn't it's name). With the National Lampoon reference, I'd take
the "unbelievably identified as" at face value. He thinks they made
it up (either the film or the name).

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |Well, if you can't believe what you
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |read in a comic book, what can you
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |believe?!
| Bullwinkle J. Moose
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com
(650)857-7572

http://www.kirshenbaum.net/


Ben Zimmer

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 6:09:36 PM1/17/04
to
Evan Kirshenbaum wrote:
>
> Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> writes:
>
> > I see nothing in other reviews of "Grass" to suggest that "M:ToM" was
> > *not* an actual short film...
> >
> > http://www.miaminewtimes.com/issues/2000-07-13/film3.html
> > The movie opens with a clip from a black-and-white
> > film unbelievably identified as Marijuana: Threat or
> > Menace? (reminiscent of the National Lampoon's
> > "Homosexuality: Disease or Illness?").
>
> Actually, I read that as saying that whoever wrote it does indeed
> believe that M:ToM is *not* an actual short film (or at least that
> that isn't it's name). With the National Lampoon reference, I'd take
> the "unbelievably identified as" at face value. He thinks they made
> it up (either the film or the name).

OK, that's a possibility... I thought the reviewer meant that the title
was so astonishing as to be verging on self-parody. But the Washington
Post clearly assumed that it was an actual film (see previous post), as
did the Times-Picayune (from Nexis):

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), Nov. 3, 2000, p. 11
CinemaPhile: Also on the Big Screen

"Grass" is worth a look for its amusing film clips,
including vintage educational films such as "Marijuana:
Threat or Menace?" and Hollywood classics such as
"Reefer Madness."

The Detroit News is a little less precise:

http://www.detnews.com/2000/entertainment/0929/mgrass/mgrass.htm
"Marijuana: Threat or Menace?"
So blares the headline of a bit of early-20th-century
propaganda about the evil weed.

And here's the track listing for a mix CD including a snippet of M:ToM,
identified as a "propaganda short":

http://www.artofthemix.org/FindAMix/GetContents.asp?strMixID=48379

I guess someone will have to check out the credits to "Grass" to get a
definitive answer. If Mann grafted a fake title onto preexisting
footage, then he fooled a lot of people.

Ben Zimmer

unread,
Jan 17, 2004, 6:31:35 PM1/17/04
to

That was the title of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15, published in 1981.
When the origin of the headline was discussed on rec.arts.comic.misc, no
one was able to find it in the Stan Lee comics of the '60s (Jameson's
first headline was simply "Spider-Man Menace"):

http://groups.google.com/groups?th=6ef70420e99b5f53

John Dean

unread,
Jan 18, 2004, 9:01:25 PM1/18/04
to

But not billions and billions of minutes?
--
John Dean
Oxford
De-frag to reply


Donna Richoux

unread,
Jan 19, 2004, 7:33:38 AM1/19/04
to
Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> wrote:

[snip discussion of "Marijuana: Threat or Menace"]


>
> I guess someone will have to check out the credits to "Grass" to get a
> definitive answer. If Mann grafted a fake title onto preexisting
> footage, then he fooled a lot of people.

I kept looking, and came across this interview with the film-maker, Ron
Mann:

M: Where did you get all that archival footage?
RM: The researcher on Atomic Café [an anti-nuclear
film] was Rick Pralinger, who's a friend of mine. He
sent me on a path--the marijuana trail. It took me
to hundreds of archives across America. A lot of the
material that Rick himself collects is classroom
scare films, social guidance or "mental hygiene"
films. Stuff you saw in junior high that has exactly
the opposite effect of what's intended. So I
collected over 400 hours of anti-marijuana movies,
the earliest being High on the Range, a marijuana
cowboy movie. It's been said that history is in the
outtakes of television, so I went to basements of TV
stations, to show the propaganda that the government
used.

He also says

remember that I didn't make this stuff up. It's all
facts.

So that's his line and he's sticking to it.

One more thing, though: there seems to be a trend to *re-name* these old
films so they are hip and attractive. "Reefer Madness" is a re-naming of
"Tell Your Children." "High on the Range" couldn't be what that silent
Western was called -- RHHDAS says "high" wasn't used in that sense until
1944, and there's no record of its existence outside of "Grass" and the
specialty market, such as:

...invites all potheads (and other interested parties) to an
evening of Drug Film Classics. Four short films -- High on the
Range, Dopocoke, a streamlined version of Reefer Madness and
Mystery of the Leaping Fish -- screen at 7pm for your edification
and amusement. [Toronto, 2000]

So there's *still* a chance that "Marijuana: Threat or Menace" is a
modern re-naming of a genuine educational film, using the humorous
buzzword (so to speak).

David McMurray

unread,
Jan 19, 2004, 9:33:54 AM1/19/04
to
The Bibliographer <tip...@wam.umd.edu> wrote:

> In article <4008EA7A...@midway.uchicago.edu>,
> Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> wrote:
> >R F wrote:
> >> > But my feeling from the way it's used here is that it must already have
> >> > been an established phrase at the time.
> >> I think the phrase "threat or menace" itself may have long been a
> >> familiar rhetoricalism, maybe rooted in some particular legal phrase or
> >> formula.
>
> Yes, exactly so. There are many phrases, most of the dating from the
> earlier fourteenth century, where the law was concerned with clarity of
> language and intent, so that one word had an earlier English stem
> (threat) and the other a Norman-French stem (menace). "Cease and
> desist" is another such phrase, and there are many more.

There are many which are said to show this pattern, certainly, but few
stand up to careful scrutiny. For example, 'cease' and 'desist' both
have French roots, do they not? (And, arguably, they didn't mean the
same thing anyway, at least historically; neither did the components of
another oft-cited example, 'will and testament'.)

Raymond S. Wise

unread,
Jan 19, 2004, 4:06:52 PM1/19/04
to
"David McMurray" <djmcm...@canada.com> wrote in message
news:1g7sx8w.1asgaue1nx1k14N%djmcm...@canada.com...


And "hue and cry," which had (has?) a couple of specific legal meanings , is
from Old French "_hu et cri, hui et cry ;_ ML. _huesium_ (_hutesium_) _et
clamor._" according to *The Century Dictionary* (
www.century-dictionary.com ).


--
Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com


Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages