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Born v Borne

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Born v Borne

Postby Slava » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:08 pm

I take these past tenses as two different words, with different meanings.

From the beginning, the possibility that the Shroud had been borne of the techniques of talented medieval artisans was not ignored, even by the church.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123940218130209621.html

This quote can go both ways. Do you agree that there is a difference? If so, how to put it into a definition to explain to others?
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Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:48 am

First of all, I am not confident I understand what sense of "bear" Mr. Manseau had in mind when he wrote the sentence.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary,
"In the sense of 'give birth to' the past participle 'borne' is the usual form for all active constructions and for passive consructions when followed by 'by.' The past participle 'born' is the correct form for all other passive constructions indicating the fact of birth: 'Three children were borne by her, one of whom was born deaf.'"

Now looking at Mr. Manseau's sentence, we note it is passive ("had been borne") and that it is not followed by "by" ("of the techniques"). Therefore, the sentence cannot mean that "the techniques gave birth to the Shroud"

We have to examine the other 13 senses of "bear" and I guess the best fit is either "to have as a visible quality or form; exhibit" or "To be accountable for; assume." But if we re-write the sentence into the active voice with "Shroud" as the direct object and "techniques" as the subject, neither of these senses fit well.
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Postby Perry » Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:44 pm

A bear of a problem.

I'm with you bnjtokyo.
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Postby Audiendus » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:57 am

bnjtokyo wrote:Now looking at Mr. Manseau's sentence, we note it is passive ("had been borne") and that it is not followed by "by" ("of the techniques"). Therefore, the sentence cannot mean that "the techniques gave birth to the Shroud".

I think "born(e) of" has a similar meaning to "borne by", but with the emphasis on the idea of "originating from", rather than on the physical process of being conceived and born. "Born(e) of" can be used either literally (e.g. "Christ is born of Mary") or figuratively (e.g. "the theory of relativity was born of the genius of Einstein"; "the economic crisis was born of greed"). The Shroud example falls into the latter category.

"Born of" seems to be the correct spelling. On the Web it is about 15 times as common as "borne of".
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