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Redeem

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Redeem

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:42 pm

• redeem •


Pronunciation: ree-deemHear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. To pay off the debt on a pawned item to get it back. 2. To cash out (stocks). 3. To save or rescue, especially from a state of sin (to redeem your soul). 4. To exchange for, to convert (redeem a coupon for a ticket). 5. To make up for, make amends, atone for; to restore a reputation (to redeem yourself for doing a bad job).

Notes: No, it doesn't mean "deem again", though this meaning is possible in the appropriate context: "After he confessed, I redeemed him a good person." The sense of today's Good Word comes with a complete family of English relatives, including an active adjective, redeeming, and a passive one, redeemable. The personal noun is redeemer. If capitalized as Redeemer, this word refers to Jesus Christ, the Savior, in the Christian faiths. Only the action noun is Latinate: redemption.

In Play: The most popular usage of today's word is sense No. 5: "Jess Hyde will have to do a hat trick in today's game to redeem himself for the score he kicked into his own goal last week." Here is a sentence that uses this word in the sense No. 3: "Gladys Friday dreamed of someone who would come into her life and redeem her from her miserable job."

Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from Middle French redemer "to buy back". French inherited this word from Latin redimere "buy back, ransom, bribe". This word contains re(d)- "again, back" + emere "take, buy, gain". (The D in the prefix is there because the prefix appears before a vowel.) The root of emere, em-, turns up in some PIE languages meaning "take", "have", or "buy". In Serbian it emerges as imati "to have", while in Russian it is barely visible in vozmu "I'll take". Sanskrit yamati "holds" belongs among this lot. (Kathleen McCune of Norway needs no redemption, for she has been contributing Good Words like today's for many years now.)
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Re: Redeem

Postby David Myer » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:43 am

The Notes suggest it can be used to mean "deem again". Many words have drifted in meaning so that 're' as a prefix does not merely mean 'again'. I'm thinking of re-covering a chair or re-creating a piece of art, or re-sourcing my ingredients, or re-viewing my slide show, or re-storing my furniture when I go away again. As you can see, my solution to the ambiguity is to add a hyphen. On that basis to "deem again" would be to "re-deem".

If others agree, perhaps we should set an example for the rest of the world. Do we yet have the status of gurus and fonts of linguistic knowledge?
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Re: Redeem

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:11 pm

I frequently use hyphens in words to clarify their meanings.
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Re: Redeem

Postby gailr » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:30 pm

If one chooses to not apply a coupon towards a purchase, is he dis-deeming the item? :D
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Re: Redeem

Postby MTC » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:15 pm

THE HYPHENATED-STATES-OF-AMERICA

Alabama-Alaska-Arizona-Arkansas-California-Colorado-Connecticut-Delaware-Florida-Georgia-Hawaii-Idaho-Illinois-Indiana-Iowa-Kansas-Kentucky-Louisiana-Maine-Maryland-Massachusetts-Michigan-Minnesota-Mississippi-Missouri-Montana-Nebraska-Nevada-New Hampshire-New Jersey-New Mexico-New York-North Carolina-North Dakota-Ohio-Oklahoma-Oregon-Pennsylvania-Rhode Island-South Carolina-South Dakota-Tennessee-Texas-Utah-Vermont-Virginia-Washington-West Virginia-Wisconsin-Wyoming
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Re: Redeem

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:06 am

David:

I don't qualify as a guru. Did you mean fount instead of font. They have similar etymologies but fount sometimes means source as in the hymn, "Come, thou Fount of every blessing,"
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Redeem

Postby David Myer » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:52 am

Interesting question Philip. No, I meant font. The expression we used as kids (in UK) was "font of all knowledge". My understanding was that it was merely an old fashioned word for fountain. Some people get baptised in a font, don't they? But Googling it opens a huge can of worms. Once again, it presumably depends where you come from. And once again, I have never heard of 'fount' in this context. You Americans...
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Re: Redeem

Postby MTC » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:46 am

David and Philip:

Here is an article from a respected source on the "font" vs "fount" controversy that even includes a pie chart.
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013 ... l-results/
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Re: Redeem

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:31 am

So, fount and font are at odds with each other meaning source. Being an old guy, I use fount for source. I hark back to 1757 when Robert Robinson, a dissenting English cleric, wrote a well-known hymn, "Come thou Fount." Robinson couldn't make up his mind whether to dissent as a Baptist or as a Methodist. Finally he rightly chose Baptist. :D (I don't really like smiley faces, but sometimes my humor is not obvious to the casual observer.)
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Re: Redeem

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:41 am

Horrors of horrors! I just read that Robinson, mentioned in my last posting, preached for a Unitarian church and that night the Lord took him. Isn’t anything sacred? Is he in the Unitarian Heaven? :D again!
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Re: Redeem

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:32 pm

MTC, you are much more energetic than I. I would've made my point but hyphenating only 3-4 states. Point well taken.

I'm of the font, strait-laced, and shoo-in groups.

And I clicked on the scone link, and discovered there was another way to pronounce the word. I never imagined that one could pronounce it another way besides to rhyme with cone. Apparently a large percentage of Brits rhyme scone with con. Who knew?
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Re: Redeem

Postby Slava » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:41 pm

gailr wrote:If one chooses to not apply a coupon towards a purchase, is he dis-deeming the item? :D

I'd put it another way: She's dissing the coupon by deeming it unworthy of redemption.
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Re: Redeem

Postby David Myer » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:09 pm

Perry is in the font, strait-laced and shoo-in groups. But you guys are all wonderfully accepting of the alternatives! Sometimes of course, there can be debate about these things, but I contend that in many, there is no debate, only 'right' and 'ignorant'. I am the first to say that there is no shame in ignorance. But how anyone could seriously suggest shoe-in or straight-laced, as acceptable alternatives is way beyond me. It's a sort of mis-guided political correctness, a giving of equal air-time to climate change deniers or flat-earth proponents on the basis that it is only fair. One of the great men said (your own Hubert Humphrey, I think) words to the effect "The right to be heard does not include the right to be taken seriously".

Incidentally, font and fount, I have much less problem with - the words are from the same source. Straight is the wrong word and so is shoe. There! No doubt I have revealed my own ignorance as well as my dogmatism!
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Re: Redeem

Postby Slava » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:35 pm

Ah, David, what you display is not ignorance at all. Nor is it dogmatism. Pedantry, perhaps. I happen to agree with you, though. There are right and wrong words. As they are homonyms you can't tell them apart in speech, but in writing there is only one true one.

By the by, you happen to speak Strine?
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Re: Redeem

Postby MTC » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:37 am

Dogmatic, yes. Intolerant of change, yes. Ignorant, no.

As the unnamed author of the article on the Oxford Dictionaries blog observed, "Whether or not you think that we should have a free rein over spelling, it seems inevitable that as long as the English language continues to evolve, we will come across variant spellings for words and phrases."

In my view, however, shoe-in and straight-laced are not "wrong" or "ignorant" misspellings, but reasonable adaptations, the product of folk etymology: "Folk etymology is change in a word or phrase over time resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familiar one." Through the process of folk etymology "shoe" replaced the unfamiliar "shoo," and "straight" replaced the unfamiliar "strait." It is unlikely members of the general public would know that "shoo" is "the term denoting the winner of a rigged horse race" from the 1930s, or that "strait" refers to stays or bodices from the 1540s. The things "shoo" and "strait" represent have become less familiar with the passage of time. Rather than abandon dated but serviceable expressions it's better to modify or "repair" them into something familiar. Call this tendency "linguistic thrift." If enough people approve the repairs the new spelling or word will be adopted as the norm. Regarding the subject expressions, the changes are sensible, not arbitrary: a "shoe in" the door gaining certain entrance: a garment laced "straight" and proper. If you read the Oxford Dictionaries article, you will see a significant percentage of English speakers have already adopted the changes made through folk etymology. Is adherence to a stale orthography sensible under the circumstances?
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