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Oldest English words? Login/Join
 
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Did you mean to link to this?

https://www.quora.com/What-is-...ish-language?share=1

The first answer is baffling. Black is not older than white. Hear is not older than speak. This bit made me lol:
quote:

Before the year 900, language skills were still in the Alpha or Beta stages of development, but people had to find themselves wanting to identify an object that may (or may not) have had a proper name (yet.) So, they pointed or gestured to something they wanted—and this was born!


Before 900, we were grunting like cavemen! Take that Plato!

It is an impossible to answer question.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
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Why is it impossible? (Reminds me of the bit from "My Cousin Vinny").
 
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“What is the oldest word in English?” is impossible to answer for the same reason that “what is the oldest language?” is impossible to answer. All non-creole languages extend back to before recorded history, so most words do as well.

But “what are the oldest words in English?” is answerable. They are the words that were not borrowed. So black and white and probably derived from Proto-Indo-European but chartreuse was borrowed from French. So black and white are older English words than chartreuse; they have been part of English longer.
 
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Ah, that makes sense.
 
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Bob, I've found that there are several highly competent, but also facetious people on Quora.
I suspect he had the effect on you that he intended!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Bob, I've found that there are several highly competent, but also facetious people on Quora.


I agree with that but I'm not sure why you said it as I haven't posted in this thread at all. Confused
Did you mean it for goofy?
 
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Oops! Sorry! Well, now you HAVE posted here! :-)
 
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