Open main menu

etymology of closed-minded

I always thought this was a misspelling of close-minded. This post summarizes my reasoning. But the thread has other opinions, and I assume fellow editors here at Wiktionary can help clarify the issue. Which is the correct/original version? --Waldir 10:11, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Open-minded suggests closed-minded as an opposite. Equinox 10:22, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Now it does. But close is an adjective which means precisely "closed". I don't know about correctness, but close-minded seems to be the older form. I'd speculate that as the adjective close has become rarer, "close-minded" has been re-parsed by people as "closed-minded". To me they both seem fine, although in formaL writing I would probably stick with "close-minded". Ƿidsiþ 10:32, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Ƿidsiþ. See also the description that is presented in the link I mentioned above: Close is an adjective, meaning "tight" or "narrow" or "confined" or "occupying a small space" or "extremely limited in extent" or "carefully guarded". This seems to validate the "close-minded" version. Also, closed-minded just sounds plain weird to me, just like "shorted-circuited" or "nations-states" would (different constructs, I know, and both incorrect, but just to demonstrate the awkwardness I'm talking about... it just doesn't feel right to me).
It would make more sense, IMO, if the main description was at close-minded and closed-minded deferred to it (currently it's the opposite). A mention of the relation/evolution of the two expressions, if a source can be found, would also be great for an etymology section. --Waldir 17:46, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
To me it's closed-minded. The adjective close mainly means near. Wiktionary's close does give closed as one definition, but says it is 'now rare' (with which I agree). Some dictionaries do give 'carefully guarded' as one definition. The only example I know of that goes with this definition is 'close secret'. The meaning is that the secret is guarded by keeping it near. Closed, on the other hand, clearly means 'not open'.
It also has to do with the direction of flow of ideas. 'Closed-minded' describes a person who is not open to ideas from others, but as we know all too well, such people are only too willing to give you their ideas. On the other hand 'close-minded' would describe a person who carefully guards his mind and is unwilling to share his ideas with others; he may or may not be willing to let in ideas from others.
As to 'just sounding plain weird', get over it. The very next post in the thread containing the post linked above cites evidence that 'closed-minded' is at least as frequently used, if not more so, than 'close-minded'. Also, I have only heard it pronounced with a 'z' sound for the 's' (and the 'd' is pronounced with varying degrees of clearness); 'close-minded' would have to have a sibilant 's' like the adjective, not the verb. CLandau 03:53, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Most major dictionaries don't contain either version as an entry, but Paul Brians, in his Common Errors in English Usage, and the editors of the American Heritage Dictionary agree with Ƿidsiþ and Waldir above. Moreover, the OED lists close-minded along with close-curtained, close-eared, close-headed, close-hearted, close-jointed, close-lipped, close-meshed, close-mouthed, close-phalanxed, close-tempered, close-tongued, and close-visaged, but does not list closed-minded. In other words, it makes more sense that the main description is at close-minded and closed-minded defer to it. 209.124.189.39 23:45, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
By this logic, when people say it aloud it should have the "s" sound from "sit", not the "z" sound. The adjective "close" uses the former sound. But when I hear the phrase spoken, I only hear it with the "z" sound. "Close" only has the "z" sound as a verb. And a verb at the beginning of a hyphenated expression like that is awkward.
I have always understood the issue like this: A mind is either open or closed. It is not "close." Taking an adjective like "open" or "closed" and applying it in a hyphenated construction like "open-minded" or "closed-minded" is a normal thing in English. Mbarbier (talk) 18:25, 13 July 2016 (UTC)




etymology of s- in Italian

The etymology section states (roughly): "In most cases, this prefix stems from Latin ex-. In some cases, it stems from Latin dis-." However, both senses listed ("used to form words that have an opposing sense" and "used to form verbs that have a sense of undoing an action") seem to refer to the negating effect of dis- rather than the "out of"/"from" meaning of ex-. Can someone clarify this? --Waldir 10:22, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

from my latin dictionary DIS- can mean in some case division, separation, distinction, etc. An example could be "he is OUT OF our group".I hope it is useful.--LupusInFabula 19:50, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I think you've misunderstood Waldir (talkcontribs)'s comment. His point, as I understand it, is that Italian s- never seems to mean "out of" or "from", and therefore, that it seems that it must always come from Latin dis- (which doesn't always mean "out of" or "from"), never from Latin ex- (which does always mean "out of" or "from"). (Note: I speak neither Latin nor Italian, and am neither agreeing nor disagreeing with either of you. I'm just clarifying what looks like a miscommunication.) —RuakhTALK 02:03, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

scappare (escape)---> s+cap+are(es+cap+e) ,verb Lt cap+io (to capture); scavare (excavate)---> s+cav+are (ex+cav+ate),verb Lt cav+o (grossly to make an hole) or from s Lt cav+um or cav+us(hole)--LupusInFabula 12:27, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. It seems a third sense should be added, then (and maybe the existing two merged together?). Could you do that, LupusInFabula? You obvioulsy are more comfortable with the ex--originated usage. --Waldir 09:19, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

O nosso amado Portugal,I think that someone ho writes in English better than me should do it ,xau.


lithium

Is it not from AGr. λίθος (líthos)? -- Prince Kassad 08:43, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

  • OED says it's from Modern Latin lithion for whose etymology it gives - mod.L., as if Gr. , neut. of adj., stony, f. stone; the name was proposed in 1818 by Berzelius for the fixed alkali discovered by Arfwedsson in 1817, to designate its mineral origin, the two previously known being of vegetable origin. (sorry, the Greek letters don't copy/paste) SemperBlotto 08:50, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
This is an archive page that has been kept for historical purposes. The conversations on this page are no longer live.