3 January 2011

Fr Zed and the verb histemi

I notice that Fr Zed spells Apostacy sic. I have also noticed, in American books, Exstacy.

Is this a 'regular' Americanism? We in Old Europe (what is the objectionable Rumsfeldt doing nowadays?) tend to assume, for fairly obvious reasons, that derivatives of histemi* are spelled (spelt?) -stasy. I wonder what our transpontine cousins consider the countervailing arguments to be.

Enough on Fr Zed for today.


*I doubt if I have ever blushed more deeply than I did when, in my first term in this university, my Tutor for Greek Prose Composition, the immortal, the fabulously erudite, the magnificently Australian Margaret Hubbard irritably moved her cat off her gin-bottle, drew heavily on her cigarette, and said "Tush, Mr Hunwicke, do we not know histemi?"


Scott said...

No, those are incorrect in American English. Apostasy and ecstasy are correct.

Mall said...

Histemi is surely the most demanding of Greek verbs.

The Flying Dutchman said...

I would like to know what the cat was doing with the gin bottle...

Father Anonymous said...

Scott is correct about American spelling. But if I remember correctly, the "-cy" endings had some currency in centuries past. Consider Donne's "Ecstacy."

So perhaps your, um, friend is attempting make some obscure point about his own conservatism. Or perhaps he is simply a great lover of densely-written erotic poetry.

vetusta ecclesia said...

What civilised university we attended. Oral skills were not highly prized in my time in the Modern Languages Faculty and when I announced, in Spanish in an oral exam, that I had been born in 1044, we went for tea at the suggestion and expense of the examiner. But I didn't get a First - nor should I have done.

Red Maria said...

Dear Father Hunwicke,

Can you be contacted by email?