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Topic: Maths pedagaogy / etymology of "dialogue"
Replies: 2   Last Post: Mar 18, 2013 3:44 PM

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Frederick Williams

Posts: 2,164
Registered: 10/4/10
Re: Maths pedagaogy / etymology of "dialogue"
Posted: Mar 18, 2013 3:44 PM
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James Waldby wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Mar 2013 12:59:12 +0000, Frederick Williams wrote:

> > wrote:
> >> [...] I'm sure I'd have lots of questions and that would open up a great multilogue (meaning a dialogue but extended to more than two views)
> >
> > It pleases me to be able to report that the "di" bit of "dialogue" has
> > nothing to do with two people. A conversation beteeen many is also a
> > dialogue. The Greek "dia" means various things, "two" is not one of
> > them. It is "di" (or "dis") that means two, but that is not the prefix
> > here. It is "duologue" that means conversation between two parties.
> >
> > [Meanwhile, I'm thinking "dia" = "made of", "though", etc, which is it?
> > "Made of" I suspect, because "logos" (among other things) means
> > "speech", so a dialogue is made of speach. Hmm... I shall check. If a
> > linguist comes along and says otherwise it is (s)he whom you should
> > believe, not I.]

> I don't have access to a current Oxford English Dictionary, the which
> usually is regarded as an authority on matters like this, but the entry
> at <> agrees closely
> with an older OED I looked at (except etymonline uses Roman alphabet for
> Greek terms, where OED has Greek letters). etymonline says,
> dialogue (n.): early 13c., "literary work consisting of a
> conversation between two or more persons," from Old French dialoge,
> from Latin dialogus, from Greek dialogos "conversation, dialogue,"
> related to dialogesthai "converse," from dia- "across" (see dia-) +
> legein "speak" (see lecture (n.)). Sense broadened to "a
> conversation" c.1400. Mistaken belief that it can only mean
> "conversation between two persons" is from confusion of dia- and di-
> (1). A word for "conversation between two persons" is the hybrid
> duologue (1864).
> Also see etymonline's entry for dia-, at
> <> :
> dia-: before vowels, di-, word-forming element meaning "through,
> thoroughly, entirely," from Greek dia-, from dia "through,
> throughout," probably from the root of duo "two" (see two) with a
> base sense of "twice."

Thank you. I'm obliged to you for looking that up.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by
this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
Jonathan Swift: Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting

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