The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Human’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

Where does the word ‘human’ come from? What is the origin or etymology of this most ubiquitous word? As is so often the case with word derivations, ‘human’ has an interesting back-story which is worth exploring. If you’ve ever wondered what it means to be human, you could do worse than start with the very origins of the word ‘human’ itself. Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Human’”

The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Family’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

What are the origins of the word ‘family’, and what does ‘family’ have to do with the word ‘familiar’, or, for that matter, with the Latin famulus? We might assume that the etymology of ‘family’ will be straightforward, denoting a group of related people, but that meaning of the term is actually surprisingly recent. Let’s take a closer look … Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Family’”

‘The Fly’ by Katherine Mansfield: Summary and Analysis

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

‘The Fly’ is not one of the best-known short stories of the New Zealand-born writer Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), but it is significant for being one of her few stories which deals directly with the First World War. In the story, a man is reminded of the death of his young son in the war, only to become distracted by a fly which has fallen into the inkpot on his desk. Continue reading “‘The Fly’ by Katherine Mansfield: Summary and Analysis”