Re: Geez, what a surprise!

Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (
Thu, 12 Feb 1998 10:30:57 -0500

At 01:32 PM 2/11/98 -0800, Rohit Khare wrote:
>Joseph, I can assure you your faith is well-placed in at least one public=
>figure. Were I to smoke pot, get laid, or snowboard, I'd be sure to do
>Rohit "a very discrete candidate indeed" Khare

<smile> Reminds me of the Seinfeld where George tries to do it all
concurrently, sex, food, and eating.

The thing is, I never did catch on to that 16th century trend of switching
the meanings...

discrete diskrit, a. (sb.) Also 6 discreet. ad. L. discret-us `separate,
distinct', pa. pple. of discernere to separate, divide, discern: cf. later
sense of Fr. discret, discr=E8te `divided, separate'. In the sense of cl. L.
discretus, discrete was used by Trevisa (translating from L.), but app. was
not in general use till late in 16th c. But in another sense, `discerning,
prudent' (derived through French), discret, discrete was well-known in
popular use from the 14th c.; this, even in late ME., was occasionally spelt
discreet, which spelling was appropriated to it about the time that discrete
in the L. sense began to be common; so that thenceforth discrete and
discreet were differentiated in spelling as well as in meaning: see
discreet. Before this, while discrete was the prevalent form for the later
discreet, it is only rarely (see 1 <beta> below) that discreet appears for
the present discrete.

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Joseph Reagle E0 D5 B2 05 B6 12 DA 65 BE 4D E3 C1 6A 66 25 4E independent research account