Last year I had the pleasure of producing The Long Steep Path, the audio version of an intriguing & inspirational book written by award winning author Catherine Ryan Hyde. I really enjoyed recording & producing it, & spending some time with Catherine. Her earnest narration sets her book off perfectly. So why not look into the word record?
Both the noun & the verb showed up in English in the early 1300s, the noun meaning testimony committed to writing & the verb meaning to get by heart. We can see that heart in the second bit of the modern word record, as –cord. It comes to English through French, from the Latin –cordis, meaning heart (related to cardiac). We’ve hung onto that original meaning in terms like learn by heart. I like the fact that the folks who recorded records (whether vinyl, cassette, audiobook, CD or MP3) all offer us a little bit of heart.
It wasn’t until 1892 that the verb record meant to put sound or pictures on disks, though the noun record (with emphasis on the first syllable) meaning disk on which sounds & images have been recorded appeared as early as 1878.
This post is concise, as I’m hoping you’ll have time to zip on over to Audible to listen to a brief sample of Catherine reading from The Long Steep Path.
My thanks go out to this week’s sources, etymonline.com, OxfordDictionaries.com, & the OED.
I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.
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