English 10: Writing Portfolio
Catholic Memorial High School
|When people think of the word
"fight", they usually think of battle and struggle.
It's true that can be a definition of the word, but in some ways the word could mean emotion,
because it can invoke so many different ones. Horror, sadness, fear, or maybe even excitement, can
describe the word "fight".
The first use of the word (that we know of) dates back to 959 A.D. This easily makes it the one
of the oldest word in our language. It's no surprise however, considering the word describes
something so ancient, so immortal, so deeply rooted in not just our history, but our nature. Is it
not true that such a word, which is almost as old as its own language, should evolve over the course
of its 1048 years of use? Is it not true that the language itself will evolve, too? So why
can't we summarize, generalize, and describe that evolution from one word? Well we can and we
What book, could be so ancient that it would include the first use of the word "fight"
recorded? Why, Beowulf, of course. Beowulf is not only the oldest writing in the English language,
but the oldest Epic ever recorded. The language doesn' even sound like English, simply because
it's written in the language's oldest form. It is a shame that all we know about the
author is that he was probably a monk who "christianized" the book by taking out all the
pagan references. Also, he probably, didn't create the story, but heard told by professional
story tellers, and wrote them down. Knowing that the main character is a man who seeks fame and
glory by slaying demons and monsters, saving damsels in distress, and becomin king of an entire
land, it's no surprise, that "fight" would be included in the text. The first quote
of "fight" is actually the first sentence of the book: "Hwaet we Gar-Dena in
gear-degum theod-cyninga thrym gefrunon, hu oa athelingas ellen fremedon."
The quote in Beowulf uses the verb form of the word, which is "fremedon". The noun form
would be "feoht", or "feohtan". The word evolved over time, and during the time
of Shakespeare(an avid user of the word), was spelled either "fiht", or "fight".
The word has remained remarkably unchanged over the course of its approximate 1,000 year history,
which is extremely unusual compared to other words of the same age. However, in all of that time,
the definition has changed even less. It only has three dead meanings, and all are in some way
relevant to today's meaning.
The word"fight" is one of the very few words which have remained relatively unchanged.
My only guess as to why that would be, is that since the word means something so basic, so
permanent, so relevant to our daily lives, there was never any need to change, or update the
definition. Some words, die and so do many languages. However, i sincerely don't believe that
"fight" is one of those words. This word will always exist in English, as long as it
exists in human nature, which is to say that it will probably only die with the language.
Dear Mr. Chaucer,
The word “Football” for most Americans
represents the sport which the rest of the world considers