Sunday, September 05, 2010


Men Not To Be Lightly Spoken Of

Richard Chenevix Trench, On the Study of Words, 18th ed. (London: Macmillan and Co., 1882), pp. 143-144 (Lecture IV):
Certain theologians in the Middle Ages were termed Schoolmen; having been formed and trained in the cloister and cathedral schools which Charlemagne and his immediate successors had founded. These were men not to be lightly spoken of, as they often are by those who never read a line of their works, and have not a thousandth part of their wit; who moreover little guess how many of the most familiar words which they employ, or misemploy, have descended to them from these. 'Real,' 'virtual,' 'entity,' 'nonentity,' 'equivocation,' 'objective,' 'subjective,' with many more unknown to classical Latin, but now almost necessities to us, were first coined by the Schoolmen; and, passing over from them into the speech of others more or less interested in their speculations, have gradually filtered through the successive strata of society, till now some of them have reached to quite the lowest.

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