The etymology of words is always quite fascinating!
As I am plodding (but with joy!
) on analysing Macbeth
for an essay, I am yet again today excited about the evolution of words. I am analysing this line: ‘If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair’
(1.3.134 in the Longman edition)
In these lines, the noun ’suggestion
’ has not at all the modern meaning of ‘an idea, plan, or action that is suggested (or the act of suggesting it)’ (cambridge dictionary definition)
. It means ‘a tempting image
’ as indeed, in Middle English, a suggestion was ‘an incitement to evil
Fascinating , isn’t it? All languages are fascinating!
I have heard that the book Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language
by Bill Bryson is a great read. I have put it on my list of 'books to read'.