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Re: Common Sense

Nov 08, 1996 02:28 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <>, Bart Lidofsky <>
>Art House wrote:
>> Who knows what common sense is?  Is there even such a thing?  Common
>> sense changes with time and situation.
>       Just an aside. John Algeo, who, among other things, is a noted
>etymologist, recently mentioned that "common sense" does not, as one
>might think, derive from sense that is common among people, but from the
>concept of being able to take the evidence from all 5 senses in common,
>and properly coordinate the information.
>       Bart Lidofsky

While John Algeo is almost certainly correct, I doubt if many people use
the term in its defined etymoligical manner.  I suspect that most -
myself included - use it as a rough and ready way of describing what
*is* perceived as "sense that is common among ... people."  Not all
people, but certainly those who belong, again in a rough and ready way,
to a common peer group.

If this is so, then in due course, the dictionaries and etymolical
studies will need to take into account the vernacular use of the term.

I subscribe to "Demon Internet" in order to use this service, and as
someone recently pointed out, the word "demon" has a greek origin which
relates to a disembodied spirit, not necessarily inimical to anyone.
This is not the popular use of the term, and so in English usage the
word means an evil spirit.

Language changes.  Seem to think I mentioned that once or twice before

Alan :-)
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