walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Language Hives

I've had a couple library books lying around. I've renewed them twice and they are overdue. Gotta move 'em along. The one about the orchestra was so ... dated and useless ... that after a brief overview I just returned it. Then there is Thomas A. Kinney's _The Carriage Trade_. And you know, just based on the title, I should have given it a pass, because look at the subtitle: "Making Horse-Drawn Vehicles in America". And he uses the term "carriage trade" to refer to the manufacture for sale of horse-drawn vehicles.

But you know, "carriage trade" doesn't mean that. At all. And it's giving me hives. I can't tell whether the book is any good underneath this pervasive and basic issue I'm having, and I'm only giving it one more night to make its case before I send it back, too.

These cannot be regarded as reviews.

ETA: Kinney has language problems in general; he thinks "journeyman" means journey in the sense of travel, rather than jour as in the sense of day. He's wrong -- altho he's not the only person to get sucked into this piece of folk etymology. And he's really wrong in the historical sense, since this history is in _America_ and there's no traveling journeyman tradition in England or America -- and the German tradition involves a completely different set of words and phrases to describe it.

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