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A Brief History Of The Word Humor

719 words - 3 pages

Imagine for a moment the vast history of language. The base sounds that over time formed words, words that eventually evolved into language, progressing to become different languages. The languages either split or combined, all due to the fundamental need for the human race to communicate effectively with each other. Therefore, through the process of the development of language it is practical that the original definition of some words would transform to meet the needs of the civilization for which they serve. For instance the word, humor, has expanded from its original definition to encompass what it means in present day English. The following is a brief view of the transition the word ...view middle of the document...

" A sluggish disposition was said to be the result of an excess of phlegm. A person having such a disposition was called "phlegmatic," from the Greek word phlegma, meaning "flame, phlegm." A fiery, hot-tempered disposition was said to be caused by an excess of yellow bile. A person with this disposition was said to be "choleric," from the Greek word chol , meaning "bile." The disposition of a gloomy, depressed person was said to be the result of an excess of black bile. Such a person was called "melancholy," from the Greek words melan-, meaning "black," and chol , meaning "bile." (Merriam Webster, 2007)
The ancients not having the technological advancements available today arrived at their conclusions by observing the population and applying logical reasons for the differences in mood. It is logical that liquids present in the body are essential for life. Therefore, it follows that an imbalance of these vital fluids would affect one’s mood or temperament. Often it is witnessed that a person who is ill or out of balance is in less than jovial spirits, while a person, who enjoys good health is happier and has a greater sense of peace. ...

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