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Subject: Onomastics


From: Erich Kesse <erikess>
Date: Sunday, December 15, 1991
Walter :: why do you tempt me with a word at this hour of this day?
"What's in a word, ... until it's translated?"  ... Ask Mark Twain.

CONSERVATION ..., from the old French, conservacion, of the 14th century
and incorporated wholly into the English, referring to the act of
maintaining the law or some thing in accordance with the law (cf, Oxford
English Dictionary; Diderot's Encyclopaedie, ou, Dictionnaire Raisonne
des Sciences, des Artes et des Metiers ...)  Applied to the arts, to
book and paper artifacts and particularly to the laws issued on them by
the late 1400s throughout Europe emerging from the dark age.

Shakespeare used the phrase, "conservation of statues" in Richard II and
Henry III (1490-).  King Louis XI of France specified the "conservation
des artes, maitrises et jurandes" in 1464.  The variation,
"CONSERVATOR", defined by Chambers (his: Cyclopaedia) in 1741, ... "an
officer ordained for the security and preservation of the privileges of
some cities and communities, having a commission to judge of and
determine the differences among them."  (I suppose we know the word as
"lawyer" today.)

What, then, if not in modern French, is a "preservation officer" if not
a conservator or redundant or lawyers of a sort?  This is play, you

Erich J. Kesse
Preservation Office
University of Florida Libraries
Fax: 904-392-7251

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:34
                 Distributed: Sunday, December 22, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-5-34-010
Received on Sunday, 15 December, 1991

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