Word Play Wednesday – 01/02/2019

Community Commerce Commutes Computer Communications.

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commute (v.)

mid-15c., “to change (something into something else), transform,” from Latin commutare “to often change, to change altogether,” from com-, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + mutare “to change” (from PIE root *mei- (1) “to change, go, move”).

Sense of “make less severe” is from 1630s; sense of “exchange, put in place of another” is from 1630s. Meaning “substitute one sort of burden for another” is from 1640s.

Meaning “go back and forth to work” is attested by 1889, from commutation ticket “a season pass” on a railroad, streetcar line, etc. (1848), from commute in its sense of “to change one kind of payment into another” (1795), especially “to combine a number of payments into a single one, pay a single sum instead of a number of successive payments” (1845). Related: Commuted; commuting; commutable.

communicate (v.)

1520s, “to impart (information, etc.); to give or transmit (a quality, feeling, etc.) to another,” from Latin communicatus, past participle of communicare “to share, communicate, impart, inform,” literally “to make common,” related to communis “common, public, general” (see common (adj.)). Meaning “to share, transmit” (diseases, etc.) is from 1530s. Intransitive sense, of rooms, etc., “to open into each other” is from 1731. Related: Communicated; communicating.

community (n.)

late 14c., “a number of people associated together by the fact of residence in the same locality,” also “the common people” (not the rulers or the clergy), from Old French comunité “community, commonness, everybody” (Modern French communauté), from Latin communitatem (nominative communitas) “community, society, fellowship, friendly intercourse; courtesy, condescension, affability,” from communis “common, public, general, shared by all or many” (see common (adj.)).

Latin communitatem “was merely a noun of quality … meaning ‘fellowship, community of relations or feelings’ ” [OED], but in Medieval Latin it came to be used concretely to mean “a society, a division of people.” In English, the meaning “common possession or enjoyment” is from c. 1400. Sense of “a society or association of persons having common interests or occupations” also is from c. 1400.

An Old English word for “community” was gemænscipe “community, fellowship, union, common ownership,” from mæne “common, public, general,” and thus probably composed from the same PIE roots as communis. Middle English also had commonty (late 14c.) “the common people; a community,” also later meaning “land held in common” (c. 1600).

commerce (n.)

1530s, “social intercourse;” 1580s, “interchange of goods or property, trade,” especially trade on a large scale by transportation between countries or different parts of the same country, from Middle French commerce (14c.), from Latin commercium “trade, trafficking,” from com “with, together” (see com-) + merx (genitive mercis) “merchandise” (see market (n.)). It also was the name of a card game very popular in 1770s and ’80s. As a verb, “have dealings with,” 1590s. Related: Commerced, commercing.

compute (v.)

1630s, “determine by calculation,” from French computer (16c.), from Latin computare “to count, sum up, reckon together,” from com “with, together” (see com-) + putare “to reckon,” originally “to prune,” from PIE root *pau- (2) “to cut, strike, stamp.” A doublet of count (v.). Related: Computed; computing.

SOURCE: https://www.etymonline.com/

 

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