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(3) Even if one insists that the 'glimmering through' of the purposeexpressing infinitive with going and about sufficiently accounts for the ideas of intention and determination which attach to the expression of the future in the following examples:
Pinero, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, III, 62
My tongue runs away with me, I'm going to alter, I swear
Masefield, The Faithful, II, 1, 62
'Kurano-Are they going to kill me?
4th Ronin-They said they were going to make sure of you.'
'He has bought up two of our neighbors and is about to buy us up too.'
yet such an explanation could hardly account for the suggestion of compulsion or necessity in the following example with the strongly stressed verb to be.
'X-I don't intend to allow anyone to see the books.
Y-But you are going to let us see them for we have the judge's order.'
Nor could it account for the fact that quite frequently the present form of the verb conveys not only a future meaning but also the suggestions of intention, resolve, or determination." Even in Old English
we find such an example as the following:
Congreve, The Way of the World, V, 1, 65
'Sir Wilful-Therefore withdraw your instrument, sir, or by'r Lady, I shall draw mine.'
Taylor, The Babes in the Wood, III, 1, 69
'Beetle―There! but let this be a lesson to you, Arabella-the first time you forget it, I shall not return to the Queen's Bench, but I shall certainly apply to Mr. Justice Cresswell.'
11 Some examples of this use are the following:
Crothers, He and She
'Keith-Aren't you coming in to see the workroom?'
Pinero, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, I, 40
'Misquith-I go up to Scotland tomorrow, and there are some little matters.
Ibid. II, 52.
'Mrs. Cortelton-We go to town this afternoon at five o'clock and sleep tonight at Bayliss's.'
Ibid. II, 45.
'Aubrey-Well, she's going to town, Cayley says here, and his visit's at an end. He's coming over this morning to call on you. Shall we ask him to transfer himself to us?'
Alfred, Orosius EETS 1. 42. lines 6, 14, 17, 21
'Hwa is þat þe eall đa yfel þe hi donde wæron asecgean mæ ge ođđe areccan? Eac ic wille geswigian Tontolis & Philopes para scondlicestena spella; hu manega bismerlica gewin Tontolus gefremede syđđan he cyning was; 'Ic sceall eac forlætan þa þe of Perseo & of Cathma gesæde syndon, 'Eac ic wille geswigian þara mandæda þara Lemniađum & Ponthionis þæs cyninges, ic hit eall forlate. Eac ic hit forlæte, Adipsus hu he ægþer ofsloh ge his agenne fæder,
In this example it seems impossible to take these three expressions as conveying differing shades of meaning. They all three seem to me to suggest with the future the purpose of the speaker—an idea which is in no way related to the primitive meanings of two of the three expressions used.
The suggestion, then, which I should offer as the means of accounting for the facts which we find concerning the expression of the future is this. The grounds upon which the future is usually predicted are desire, hope, intention, resolve, determination, compulsion, necessity, or possibility. Any locutions which express any of these ideas related to the future may be taken up and developed as future tense signs. The course of development is in the direction of their losing their full word meanings and thus also losing their limitation to the particular meanings suggested by their origin. They tend to become future tense signs but with colorings which range from an almost pure future sense to distinctly modal ideas. These colorings are not the glimmerings through of original meanings but may be any one of the grounds upon which the future is predicted, depending upon the context. These colorings are thus the inevitable connotations of the future idea. As such they will attach themselves to any locution developed as a device to express the future so that such a locution may suggest any of the ideas related to the future even if these ideas are wholly unrelated to or opposed to its original full word meaning. This process would thus tend to thwart the developing of any phrase or form into a mere sign of the simple future tense.
Of course in a rapid impression with an entirely unemphasized phrase the general future prediction may be all that registers, yet with more attention put upon the statement, directed by greater emphasis on some part of the word group or by the reader's attempted analysis, there often stand out more prominently some of the connotations of the grounds upon which the future is predicted.
In a very brief statement the process could be summarized as follows: A certain limited range of ideas furnish the grounds upon which the future is predicted. Any word or form with meanings within this range of ideas may be taken up and used as a device for the expression of future time. As it becomes such a device the emphasis gradually shifts from the full word meaning to the future idea. But now as a device for the expression of the future it may suggest (depending on the circumstances and without limitation of its original meanings) any of that range of ideas which are the bases of future predictions.
THE ETYMOLOGY OF AN ENGLISH EXPLETIVE
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
Professor G. P. Krapp makes an attractive case for his derivation of darn, darned in the brief essay on this word in his recent The English Language in America. He discards the usual explanation that darn is a variant or minced form of damn,2 and believes that, although it now stands in intimate relation to damn, it had an independent origin. He takes as his starting point the Old English adjective dierne, 'secret,' Middle English derne, Elizabethan dern, and assumes a transition from a descriptive adjective or adverb to an imprecation. The adjective took on, he thinks, the form of a participial adjective, and thence developed verbal usage. Our occasional mild dern would then represent a more basic form than the commoner darn.
The earliest records of darn, darnation entered by lexicographers come from New England, and Dr. Krapp thinks that these forms are of New England Puritan origin. His last paragraph reads:
In brief then the explanation of darn, darned is that the word was originally Old English dierne which developed as an intensive adjective and adverb. As an adjective darn readily took on the form of a participial adjective, just as addle, originally an adjective became also addled, a participial adjective. From addled a finite verb was then formed, as 'to addle one's head over accounts'. So also from darned a verb darn was derived. As the New England social conscience was tender on this point of swearing it was the most natural thing in the world for the New Englander to secure the necessary relief which an imprecation affords by substituting the already familiar and inoffensive darn for the bolder but unequivocally profane word of the vocabulary.
Nevertheless, it is not easy to surrender the conviction that darn is no derivative of an adjective or adverb but is somehow to be asso
1 Vol. I, 119-26.
2 Entered in the Oxford Dictionary, the Century, Weekley's Etymological Dictionary, etc.
3 This is the adjective used by the American poet, Joseph Rodman Drake, in the tenth strophe of The Culprit Fay (1835):
"Through dreary beds of tangled fern
Through groves of nightshade dark and dern,'
ciated from the first with damn, damnation. Dr. Krapp's etymology seems to me to be open to question for various reasons. For one thing, the old adjective dern seems an unlikely source for an expletive. Looking through Mary Crawford's English Interjections in the Fifteenth Century, W. L. Ramsay's list in his edition of Skelton's Magnyfycence,5 E. C. Hills' Exclamations in American Speech, I find exhibited in them no tendency for expletives to develop from adjectives and adverbs. The main sources for exclamations, when they are not arbitrary coinages, are verbs and nouns. Dr. Krapp's analogous word addle (originally an adjective, becoming addled a participial adjective and addle a finite verb), to be the perfect analogy that he needs to support his argument, should have become an expletive. It did not and probably never will. Further, it is of importance, surely, to inquire how Dr. Krapp would relate darn the expletive to darn meaning 'mend.' The usual etymology of the latter word derives it from Middle English dierne, derne, and this seems a probable source for it. Are we then to think of the homophone verbs darn 'mend' and darn the expletive (both seventeenth-century dærn) as identical in origin but diverging in the last two hundred years. This seems hardly likely, and the early occurrences of the two words do not point toward it. Or are we to seek a new etymology for darn 'mend'? Assuredly the relationship of the two words should be scrutinized and explained before we appropriate the accepted derivation of the standard word for the dialect word.
The phonetic difficulties in the way of a derivation of darn from damn that are pointed out by Dr. Krapp do not seem insuperable if we go back to the period when the pronunciation of damned was dissyllabic. There is a simple and convincing way, however, in which the -rn of darn may be accounted for, and its development placed later than Colonial or even than Puritan times.
The earliest occurrence of darn cited by the Oxford Dictionary is from 1837-40. Haliburton has 'I guess they are pretty considerable darn fools'. Lowell has darned in the Biglow Papers and Dickens makes an American say darn in Martin Chuzzlewit, 'We don't mind them if they come to us in newspapers, but darn your books'." There is no evidence
University of Nebraska Studies 13. 361-405.
Early English Text Society, Extra Series 98, p. 83.
Dialect Notes 5. 7. 253-84 (1924).
'T. C. Haliburton, The Clockmaker, 1837–1840 (1862), p. 29. 'You darned old fool.' 1. 145 (1845).
91843-1844. Ch. xvi.