Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Are reconnoiter and reconnaissance two forms of the same word or are they two words with a common etymology? According to the Wiktionary pages, they are both derived from French, but it is unclear as to the relationship between the words.

share|improve this question
1  
There is no relationship between them in English. Wiktionary is actually exceptionally clear about that. I am not sure what the question here is. –  RegDwigнt Mar 22 '12 at 15:36
1  
The etymologies of reconnoiter and reconnaissance are available at Etymonline –  Matt Эллен Mar 22 '12 at 15:36
1  
It seems a perfectly fair question to me. Etymonline is neither comprehensive nor infallible, and misses the noun form of reconnoiter/reconnoitre, which shows a clear relationship. –  TimLymington Mar 22 '12 at 15:43
    
Of course there is a clear relationship — in French. Not in English, though. Reconnaissance has clearly not been created by native speakers of English from reconnoiter. For starters, the mutation "oit" → "ais", while rather typical for French, is not productive in English at all. But you don't even need to think that far, because as Wiktionary clearly states, each word got borrowed from French, on separate occasions, as is. No need to be an expert in either language to realize that the buck stops with French. (And for that we have French Language and Usage.) –  RegDwigнt Mar 22 '12 at 22:20
add comment

closed as not a real question by RegDwigнt Mar 22 '12 at 15:36

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.