Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Two words diverged in a yellow wood

It is strangely satisfying to consider that this was once a redundancy:
at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine:
(Hamlet I.i)
Which, to be historically accurate, should be translated as the out-wandering and wandering spirit.

I would be erring extravagantly if I didn't flag this Sandys quote in the OED:
Now dispersed into ample lakes, and again recollecting his extrauagant waters.

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