English 10: Writing Portfolio
Catholic Memorial High School
|Have you ever played around with
the word play? Probably not becuase it is a word everybody thinks
they know and they probably do. But it is not as simplistic as we think. "Play" dates back
to the year 1378. The original form of the word "play" came in the language Old English,
plaegian. This word is so complex that the etymology is uncertain, as well as its origin, but
thought to be Middle Dutch. Who would have thought that such a cmommon and easy word could have been
so compound in its orginal days and evolved so much ovver time?
A survay of five American born people about the word "play" had only two different
responces. Three of the five, or sixty percent said that the definition was something having ti do
with moving, running around, and being active. The other fourty percent siad "play" was a
show you see on stage, one-half of which was female. "I play baseball," was my dad
Dennis' sentence, and his definition was running around and being active. My sister Amanda was
in the minority however, and said "play" was a show on stage. Her sentence was "We
watched the play on stage." It was not just because she was a female that she said that because
my friend Tony said a show as well. So, even with just five people, there were different
Asurvay of three foreign born people had the same definition. One hundred percent said
"play" was doing something active. One respondant, Miguel from Mexico said "I like to
play soccer." Another kid, Jose from Dominican Republic said "Playing baseball is fun, and
I like it." The third person, Juan from Haiti said "Lets play a game." People with
English as a second languagedo not know many secondary definitions. But after their breif time
speaking English, they do know the primary definition. This is probably because they participate in
sports and have heard the word "play" associated with it and just drew a conclusion as to
what it meant.
There are many definitions of the word play that are obsolete. One I was surprised to see was to
clap hands. I can see why it was used that way, to play with your hand perhaps. I just never
thought of it that way and that is the reason why it is obsolete. Another definition I found odd was
to boil water. It does not make sense to say to play water. This is a great example of how English
has evolved. A common definition up until the early 1600s now makes no sense which is really
amazing. The most common definition is senses relating to movement, exercise, and activity, which is
what I first thought of when I heard "play." Some of these definitions totally caught me
"Play" has been used in numerous pieces by numerous authors. One famous author is Milton
who used it in his religious text Paradise Lost VII. The sentence was "On smooth the Seale, And
bended Dolphins play." Another famous author who has used "play" is the great William
Shakespere. He used it in 1616 in the sentence "Warme life that playes in that infants veins.
In 1836 the author Charles Dickens used "play." I really begin to grow alarmed lest Braham
think we are playing him some nonsence."
Playing around with the word "play" was very interesting, and has shown me how much the
word has evolved over time. It is still very commonly used today, and I do not see it going away for
a long time. If it were to go away, it would be because someone ahs made up another word for
participating in a sport or game, and or another word for a drama on stage. I chose this word
because I wanted to do something associated with fun, and "play" was the first word I
thought of. "Play" will not be going away for a long time or maybe will never go away.
"Play" exemplifies how much the English language has changed over time.
Scribe, this is the editor of Timeless Voices.
Your work Beowulf definately set the stage for
According to the World Encyclopedia, the word
Badminton derived from Beaufort in 1873. It also