I read the essay, “How Dictionaries Are Made” by S.I. Hayakawa. In it, he explains that how editors write a meaning to a word after examine many literatures. Also, he talks about how meanings of many words have changed during different centuries. I decided to see if he was right so I looked up three words and how their meanings have changed. First, I looked into the word, “flavor”. I found that around year 1300 to 1350, flavor was origins to word fetor which means an offensive smell. In Latin, it was called flatus, and it meant to blow or to breathe. Soon the word became flator in Latin. The word Flavor was first spelled in middle French and they spelled it flaour. Then the word was introduced in Middle English and they spelled flavor and the meaning of the word changed to taste of something as it is in mouth. In British flavor is spelled as flavour. Second, I looked into the word, “choice”. I found that around 1250 to 1300, it was origins to word choose. In old French it was derivative of choisir, and it meant to perceive. Later in time, in Middle English, it was called chois. And later on, it was changed to choice, and the meaning of it changed to carefully chosen.
Last, I looked into word “Succeed”. In early 1325 century, in Latin it was known as succedere, and it meant to go under, follow, and prosper. In 1350, in Middle English, they called it succeden, and it meant to follow. In Late 14centruy, Middle English changed it succeed and the meaning was changed to go near to, next to and come after. In late 15 century, the word succeed meaning was changed to “turn out well”, and it’s been same ever since.
In conclusion, S.I. Hayakawa was right about the changing the meanings of words. He taught me how words have meant a lot to us and how it’s been changing ever since it exist.