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Nov
17
comment How did “sinister”, the Latin word for “left-handed”, get its current meaning?
@Nemo, the original text for your reference reads in frech as follows: ""qui vient du côté gauche", c'est à dire favorable, ou, au contraire, sinistre, défavorable selon qu'on interprète le présage d'après le rite etrusco romain, c'est-à-dire la face tournée vers le Sud avec l'Est à sa gauche, ou suivant le rite grec c'est a dire la face tournée vers le Nord, avec l'Est à sa droite, (cf. scaeuus) c'est le dernier sens qui est le plus fréquent, cf. Cic., Diu. 2, 39, 82; 2, 35, 74- Varron cité par Fest. 454."
Nov
17
comment How did “sinister”, the Latin word for “left-handed”, get its current meaning?
@Nemo, You're quite right. Please have a look at Ernout Meillet 2001, Dictionnaire Etymologique de la langue latine 4eme Ed. p628. "Comming from the left, that is to say favourable or on the contrary defavourable, depending on whether one follows the Etrusco-Roman interpretation, facing South with East on the left hand side or the Greek interpretation, facing Northwards, with East on the right hand side. The latter acceptation is the most frequent". All in all, the East (cf. sun rise and Spring equinox) is the auspicious direction.
Oct
14
revised Schadenfreude “plus”?
Tow the line only if you're Theodore the tugboat.
Sep
27
awarded  Nice Answer
Aug
13
revised “Commit” vs. “commitment” vs. “committing” in computer-related texts
Ugly typo in title
Aug
1
reviewed Reject What is the origin of the term “screw” in the case of a prison guard?
Jul
29
revised Difference between Paper and Article for scientific writings
Typo in title
Jul
26
reviewed Approve What is the proverb of “big fish eats small fish”?
Jul
11
comment What's the difference between a cathedral and a basilica?
@sumelic, Duly amended, Many Thanks. Please note however that towards the end of his reign, Constantine had turned officially against paganism.
Jul
11
revised What's the difference between a cathedral and a basilica?
Incorporated correction from @SteveIslander regarding the actual official status of the Christian faith in Constantine's time.
Jul
10
awarded  Nice Answer
Jun
22
comment Etymology of 'patch' in the verb 'dispatch'
@Jim, you could probably submit your comment as a full fledged answer. I can see the same semantic path explained in the French etymology of dépêcher. The meaning of 'to rapidly send in the afterworld' is well attested in French as well. As an aside, the semantic evolution went even one step further in French since its main meaning is now that of 'to hurry'.
May
29
reviewed Reject “Liberty” versus “freedom”
May
26
comment Dropped the pen and threw up the sponge
@Mari-LouA, Thanks, duly updated.
May
26
revised Dropped the pen and threw up the sponge
Updated dead link with more permanent one. Thanks to Mari-Lou's comment.
May
1
comment Can I describe time as “organic”?
circadian?
Mar
29
awarded  Nice Answer
Mar
4
comment Origin of irregular ending “-ught” for past simple and participle
Catch → caught is a little bit different from the other strong verbs you cite. It actually comes from Old French chacier (Modern French chasser which also produced to chase). The past participle used to be catched but later evolved into caught for some reason. I can't see any influence of other verbs with the same ending: matched, patched, attached are all regular.
Feb
24
awarded  Yearling
Feb
14
revised An Englishman has to be quiet when an Irishman talks
quite => quiet