Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A nice analysis

English translation follows the German text.

Hallo. Dieser Post ist leider nur auf English, weil es um so eine auf einem Wortspiel basierende englische linguistische Analyse geht. Wer ein bisschen Englisch kann, kann gerne den englischen Text lesen.
Herr Bench

Hi. This post is unfortunately only in English because it's about an English linguistic analysis based on a pun. If you are reading and understanding this, then that shouldn't matter as it means you are at least able to passively comprehend written English, so you should be fine with the rest of the post. Here it is.
My version of the Oxford Dictionary of English contains the following entries (here I only mean main entries) which begin with the letters 'pant':
1 pant
2 Pantegruelian
3 pantalettes
4 pantaloon
5 Pantanal
6 pantec
7 pantechnicon
8 Pantelleria
9 Panthalassa
10 pantheism
11 pantheon
12 panther
13 panther cap
14 panties
15 pantihose
16 pantile
17 Pantisocracy
18 panto
19 panto-
20 Pantocrator
21 pantograph
22 pantomime
23 pantomime dame
24 pantomime horse
25 Pantone
26 pantothenate
27 pantothenic acid
28 pantoum
29 pantry
30 pantryman
31 pants
32 pantsuit
33 pantsula
34 pantun
35 panty girdle
36 pantyhose
37 pantywaist

That makes 37 entries in total.
Of those, the following have an ORIGIN given.
1 pant: Middle English: related to Old French pantaisier 'be agitated, gasp', based on Greek phantasioun 'cause to imagine', from phantasia (see FANTASY).
2 Pantagruelian: late 17th cent.: from Pantagruel (the name of an enormous giant in Rabelais's novel Pantagruel (1532)) + -IAN.
4 pantaloon: late 16th cent.: from French pantalon, from the Italian name Pantalone 'Pantaloon'.
6 pantec: 1970s: abbreviation of PANTECHNICON.
7 pantechnicon: mid 19th cent.: from PAN- 'all' + tekhnikon 'piece of art', originally the name of a bazaar in London for all kinds of artistic work, later converted into a furniture warehouse.
9 Panthalassa: late 19th cent.: from PAN- 'all' + Greek thalassa 'sea'.
10 pantheism: mid 18th cent.: from PAN- 'all' + Greek theos 'god' + -ISM.
11 pantheon: late Middle English (referring especially to the Pantheon, a large circular temple in Rome): via Latin from Greek pantheion, from pan 'all' + theion 'holy (from theos 'god').
12 panther: Middle English: from Old French pantere, from Latin panthera, from Greek panther. In Latin, pardus 'leopard' also existed: the two terms led to confusion: until the mid 19th cent. many taxonomists regarded the panther and the leopard as separate species.
16 pantile: mid 17th cent.: from PAN1 + TILE, probably suggested by Dutch dakpan, literally roof pan'.
17 Pantisocracy: late 18th cent.: from PANTO- 'all' + Greek isokratia 'equality of power'.
19 panto-: from Greek pas, pant- 'all'.
20 Pantocrator: late 19th cent.: via Latin from Greek, 'ruler over all'.
21 pantograph: early 18th cent.: from PANTO- 'all, universal' + Greek -graphos 'writing'.
22 pantomime: late 16th cent.: (first used in the Latin form and denoting an actor using mime): from French pantomime or Latin pantomimus, from Greek pantomimos 'imitator of all' (see PANTO-, MIME).
25 Pantone: 1960s: an invented name.
27 pantothenic acid: 1930s: pantothenic from Greek pantothen 'from every side' (with allusion to its widespread occurence).
28 pantoum: late 18th cent.: Malay pantun.
29 pantry: Middle English: from Anglo-Norman-French panterie, from paneter 'baker', based on late Latin panarius 'bread seller', from Latin panis 'bread'.
31 pants: mid 19th cent.: abbreviation of pantaloons (see PANTALOON).
33 pantsula: perhaps related to Zula p(h)antsula 'strike sharply (with a whip)', reference to elements of the dance style.
37 pantywaist: 1930s: extended use of the term's literal sense 'child's garment consisting of panties attached to a bodice'.

That makes 22 entries with a specified origin. The others either have an origin self-evidently related to one of the others e.g. pantomime horse being related to pantomime, or they have an origin which we can assume to be related e.g. Pantanal is probably somehow also related to one of the others, or at least to PAN- or PANTO-. So we're at 22 for the moment.
Now, some of the origin descriptions further reference other words, so, being thorough linguists, we should really see what their origins are to make sure we don't miss out anything important. Here we go.
1 pant --> FANTASY: late Middle English> from Old French fantasie, from Latin phantasia, from Greek 'imagination, appearance', later 'phantom', from phantazein 'make visible'. From the 16th to the 19th cents the Latinized spelling phantasy was also used.
7 pantechnicon, 9 Panthalassa, 10 pantheism --> PAN-: from Greek pan, neuter of pas 'all'.
16 pantile --> PAN1: Old English panne, of West Germanic origin: related to Dutch pan, German Pfanne, perhaps based on Latin patina 'dish'.

As is clear, this doesn't actually give us 3 additional origins, but rather exposes those with PAN- as the origin as being similary original to those with PANTO-.
All of that means that we are left with just the following genuinely distinct origins, which I will assign letters to so that we can keep track of them:
A: from Greek phantazein 'make visible'. (1)
B: from Pantagruel. (2)
C: from the Italian name Pantalone 'Pantaloon'. (3, 4, 14, 15, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37)
D: from Greek pas 'all'. (6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, probably 5, 8)
E: from Greek panther. (12, 13)
F: related to Dutch pan, German Pfanne, perhaps based on Latin patina 'dish'. (16)
G: an invented name. (25)
H: Malay pantun. (28, 34)
I: from Latin panis 'bread'. (29, 30)
J: perhaps related to Zula p(h)antsula 'strike sharply (with a whip)'. (33)

J is the tenth letter of the alphabet, which means that in total there are ten different types of pant. Or, as people sometimes say colloquially, ten different types of pants.
Besides that stunning revelation, I hope you've inferred correctly that leopards and panthers are the same species, which will at least give you the edge in any conversation with many of the early 19th century taxonomists you're likely to come across. You're welcome.
See you tomorrow.

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