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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: February ::
Atone
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0131  Monday, 12 February 2007

[1] 	From: 	John D. Cox <
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	Date: 	Friday, 9 Feb 2007 13:55:33 -0500
	Subj: 	Atone

[2] 	From: 	Norman D. Hinton <
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	Date: 	Friday, 09 Feb 2007 19:39:47 -0600
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0120 Atone

[3] 	From: 	William L Davis <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 10 Feb 2007 09:57:12 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0120 Atone


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John D. Cox <
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Date: 		Friday, 9 Feb 2007 13:55:33 -0500
Subject: 	Atone

I'm not a historical linguist, but in response to Dennis Taylor's 
question about "atone," what I think happened is this. "Atone" was 
originally a common English verb that was pronounced "at one," and it 
meant what OED says, "to set at one." Tyndale chose this verb to 
describe the reconciliation of God and humankind in his translation of 
the New Testament. Eventually, the verb passed out of the language, 
along with its original pronunciation, so that only the biblical use of 
it remained as a specialized verb with an exclusively theological 
meaning and the current pronunciation, which masks the original meaning.

In the estimation of critics as various as Patricia Parker and R. Chris 
Hassell, Shakespeare never uses "atone" in the theological sense, even 
in word play. He uses it only in the older sense, and he probably 
pronounced it "at one."

John Cox
Hope College

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Norman D. Hinton <
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Date: 		Friday, 09 Feb 2007 19:39:47 -0600
Subject: 18.0120 Atone
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0120 Atone

The earliest use recorded in the Middle English Dictionary is from the 
romance _Bevis of Hamptoun_,

 >So 

 

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