amandyw's blog

craft·y /ˈkraf-tee, 'krahf-tee/ - adj.

I discovered an absolute gem on my bookshelf this weekend. It's called Word Origins by Wilfred Funk of Funk & Wagnalls fame. I may be in the minority if I confess that I do read dictionaries just for fun, but when I stumbled upon an explanation of the adjective used in this site's name, I couldn't resist.

Once upon a time, if you called someone a "sly and crafty knave," he would be very proud of the compliment that he is a "wise and skillful lad." But languages change. Words degrade in meaning. These days, calling someone "crafty" could mean that they are deceitful and full of tricks, but I see the pendulum swinging back in the other direction. Just as something "sharp" could be intelligent or painful, someone "crafty" could be a trickster or an artist of his craft.

The very definition of language is that it will evolve over time. This is unstoppable. May my mascot the squid stick to his craft so as not to become "crafty." Not to suggest that he has any tricks up any of his eight sleeves, but we shall see.

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