By JOSH KRON and NICHOLAS KULISH
South Sudan, which the United Nations helped midwife into existence, is now one of the most dangerous theaters of operations. Above, a man injured in tribal clashes.
Longevity Up in U.S., but Education Creates Disparity, Study Says
By SABRINA TAVERNISE
The study used government data to rank each American county by health indicators like obesity and premature death, and considered factors like the presence of fast-food restaurants.
unfriend, underlap, diligencing
unfriendn.One not a friend; an enemy. [R.] Carlyle.
the term “unfriend” dates back to 1659.
The New Oxford American Dictionary has announced its 2009 word of the year. It is “unfriend”, as in “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight”.
《新牛津美語大辭典》(New Oxford American Dictionary)公佈了其2009年度詞語。這個詞是“unfriend”（意為從好友中刪除），例如，“在我們爭吵之後，我決定在Facebook上將我的室友unfriend。
Unfriend has “currency and potential longevity”, says Christine Lindberg, senior lexicographer for Oxford's US dictionary programme.
It is true, she says, that most words with the prefix “un-” are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant) but there are some “un-” verbs, such as unpack and uncap. “Unfriend has real lex-appeal,” she says.
“Unfriend” will irritate those who oppose the nasty habit of turning nouns into verbs. But nouns have been turning into verbs for ages. In his book The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker estimates that a fifth of English verbs started as nouns, including “to progress”, “to contact” and “to host”.
“Unfriend確實有詞彙上的魅力，”她說。“Unfriend”會激怒那些反對將名詞轉變為動詞這一令人討厭的習慣的人。但長久以來，名詞一直在轉化成動詞。史蒂文•平克(Steven Pinker)在《語言本能》(The Language Instinct)一書中估計，英語動詞有五分之一是從名詞轉化而來的，包括“進步(to progress)”、“聯繫(to contact)”和“款待(to host)”等。
Also, many supposedly new words are not new at all. “Unfriend” has an ancient past, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. In 1659, Thomas Fuller wrote in The Appeal of Injured Innocence: “I hope, Sir, that we are not mutually Unfriended by this Difference which hath happened betwixt us.”
另外，許多人們以為的新詞其實根本不新。《新牛津美語大辭典》表示，“Unfriend”由來已久。 1659年，托馬斯•富勒(Thomas Fuller)在The Appeal of Injured Innocence一書中寫道：“我希望，先生，我們不會因為發生的這些分歧而結束朋友關係(unfriend)。”
I am interested in the words that did not make word of the year. They included “paywall” (admitting only paying subscribers to part of a website) and “birther” (someone who believes Barack Obama was not born in the US).
These came from either the internet or US politics. It is odd that there were few from finance, given the banking convulsions of the past year. But words are lagging indicators. Facebook had been around a while before “unfriend” surfaced. So perhaps 2010 will produce a financial word of the year.
What might it be? I have spotted two possibilities. The first came from Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England. Asked by the House of Commons Treasury committee in January how he would ensure effective communication between the Treasury, the Financial Services Authority and the Bank, Mr Tucker said they needed to tolerate a degree of overlap in their functions. He said: “That can be uncomfortable for bureaucrats . . . But handling overlap in a grown-up way is far better than living with underlap.”
Underlap is a real word. It means a piece of material extending under another piece. Mr Tucker did not mean this, however. He meant a gap – an absence of overlap or underlap. So why not say gap? Presumably because overlap and “underlap” have a pleasing symmetry.
“Underlap” started appearing in newspapers – in a speech by Lord Turner, FSA chairman, and in Sir David Walker's review of banking governance.
“Underlap”隨後開始出現在報紙上——在金融服務管理局主席特納勳爵(Lord Turner)的演講中，在戴維•沃克爵士(Sir David Walker)的銀行治理審查報告中。
But “underlap” was already in the air, and in areas unrelated to banking. The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California reported that officials were examining the siting of fire stations to prevent overlap or “underlap”. The Toronto Star said a vulnerable woman had been neglected because “there is a kind of underlap – areas where the services do not mesh”.
但“underlap”此前就已經在使用，而且是與銀行業無關的領域。加州帕姆斯普林Desert Sun報導稱，政府官員正在檢查消防站的選址，以防出現重疊或“underlap”。 《多倫多星報》(Toronto Star)稱，一位脆弱的女性被忽視了，原因是“存在某種underlap——服務沒有覆蓋的領域”。
“Underlap” is not centuries old but it does go back 24 years. In 1985, the Financial Times reported someone talking about “underlap”. Who? The Bank of England. Why? It was worried about gaps in regulation. Coining a word does not mean you have dealt with the problem.
Another candidate for word of 2010 also appeared in a Commons hearing. Asked about bank finances, Mridul Hegde, the Treasury's director of financial services, said: “We are in an extensive process of diligencing the assets.”
Diligencing. Do you like it? It is surely more elegant than the clunky “doing due diligence”, a corruption of “exercising due diligence”. “Diligencing” has already made a few appearances. In November last year, the FT reported Tony Lomas of PwC, administrators to Lehman Brothers in Europe, saying: “We're still diligencing.”
Diligencing。你喜歡它嗎？它肯定比沉悶的“doing due diligence”（“exercising due diligence”的訛用；hc: 進行適當的調查）更加文雅。 “Diligencing”已經出現過幾次。去年11月，英國《金融時報》報導說，雷曼(Lehman Brothers)在歐洲的破產管理人——普華永道(PwC)的托尼•洛瑪斯(Tony Lomas)表示：“我們仍在diligencing。”
The first use I can find is in 2005 in the New York Observer, where lawyer Barry Ostrager complimented Chambers, the lawyers guide. “They've obviously gone to the trouble of not only diligencing the people who they include . . . but distilling the commentary that they've received into some narrative form,” he said.
Does “diligencing” have a history? “Doing diligence” does. Geoffrey Chaucer, advising on that age-old problem of unfriending, wrote: “Whan thou hast for-goon thy freend, do diligence to gete another freend.”
我所能找到的該詞的第一次亮相，是2005年在《紐約觀察家》(New York Observer)上。律師白瑞•奧斯特瑞格(Barry Ostrager)稱讚律師指南錢伯斯(Chambers)說：“他們顯然不怕麻煩，不僅diligencing納入評估範圍的人……而且將他們收到的評註提煉成某種敘述形式”。“diligencing”有歷史嗎？ “Doing diligence”有。
“To diligence” does not seem to have appeared as a verb before, but its relation “to diligent” has. In The Byrth of Mankynde, a book about midwifery, the 16th-century writer Thomas Raynalde said: “Be [the earth] . . . neuer so well diligented and picked, yet always therein will remaine . . . seeds of vnlooked for weeds” – which describes the whole diligencing business pretty accurately.
杰弗裡•喬叟(Geoffrey Chaucer)在對失去朋友這一古老的問題提供建議時寫道：“當你放棄了一位朋友時，盡量再找一個朋友。”“To diligence”似乎以前沒有作為動詞出現過，但相關詞彙“to diligent”則出現過。在以助產為主題的The Byrth of Mankynde (hc：人類的誕生)一書中，16世紀作家托馬斯•雷納德(Thomas Raynalde)表示：“在（地球）上……新生兒經過如此用心的挑選，但總是會… …不經意間留下雜草的種子”。這句話相當準確地描述了整個 diligencing的過程。
The semantic webStart making sense
Apr 9th 2008Big and small companies are getting into the business of building an intelligent web of linked data
SOME new ideas take wing spontaneously. Others struggle to be born. The “semantic web” is definitely in the latter category. But it may have found its midwife in Reuters, a business-information company.
midwife Show phonetics
noun [C] plural midwives
a person, usually a woman, who is trained to help women when they are giving birth
midwifery Show phonetics
At nursing college, she specialized in midwifery.
━━ n. 助産術.
n., pl., -wives (-wīvz').
- A person, usually a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth. Also called regionally granny, granny woman.
- One who assists in or takes a part in bringing about a result: "In the Renaissance, artists and writers start to serve as midwives of fame" (Carlin Romano).
- To assist in the birth of (a baby).
- To assist in bringing forth or about: "Washington's efforts to midwife a Mideast settlement" (Newsweek).
By GEORGE DYSON
Reviewed by WILLIAM POUNDSTONEA group portrait of the mathematicians and engineers who midwifed America's postwar technological order.
[Middle English midwif : probably mid, with (from Old English) + wif, woman (from Old English wīf).]
WORD HISTORY The word midwife is the sort of word whose etymology seems perfectly clear until one tries to figure it out. Wife would seem to refer to the woman giving birth, who is usually a wife, but mid ? A knowledge of older senses of words helps us with this puzzle. Wife in its earlier history meant "woman," as it still did when the compound midwife was formed in Middle English (first recorded around 1300). Mid is probably a preposition, meaning "together with." Thus a midwife was literally a "with woman" or "a woman who assists other women in childbirth." Even though obstetrics has been rather resistant to midwifery until fairly recently, the etymology of obstetric is rather similar, going back to the Latin word obstetrīx, "a midwife," from the verb obstāre, "to stand in front of," and the feminine suffix -trīx; the obstetrīx would thus literally stand in front of the baby.