This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday Rest: foredoom. Word Not To Use Today.

'We're doomed!'

At least, that's what Private "Taffy" Frazer used to say in the very old sit-com Dad's Army. He was played magnificently by John Laurie, and the word doomed could take up several feet of film.

Unfortunately, the fact that someone can say we're doomed means that he or she isn't, actually, doomed. If they have actually met their doom then probably all they can say is aarrgghh!
And that will be cut off half way through.
Except, except...the word doom is curious because it already has a future built into it. 'We're doomed!' usually means the process by which we will meet our doom has begun.
What does it matter? Well, it means the word foredoom is a waste of space. Doom by itself is enough.
More than enough.
Just ask Private Frazer.
Word Not To Use Today: foredoom. The fore- bit hasn't really changed since it was used in Old English, and neither has the doom bit, much. The Old English dōm is related to the Old Norse dōmr, judgement, the Old High German tuom, condition, and the Sanskrit dhāman, custom.



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