Friday, November 8, 2019

Dirt and Filth

Dirt and Filth Dirt and Filth Dirt and Filth By Maeve Maddox In todays paper I read: Moisture and filth on the video detection cameras lens can cause it not to detect cars I wondered why the speaker hadnt used the more appropriate word for the context: dirt. To me the word filth conveys something nastier than mere dirt, something not likely to make it to the lens of a camera suspended over traffic. For example, a mother means three very different things when she says: This room is messy. This room is dirty. This room is filthy! With messy one pictures scattered clothing, books, and papers, but nothing a quick tidying cant put to rights. With dirty come images of dusty furniture, smeared windows, and perhaps dried mud clumps on the floor. With filthy, however, the mind turns to fossilized half-eaten sandwiches, congealed pools of unrecognizable liquid, mysterious mattress stains, and ignored deposits from the family pet. A look at the etymology of both dirt and filth reveals pretty nasty origins for both. Dirt comes from an Old English word (dritan) meaning to defecate. In Middle English the noun drit meant excrement. The r and the i eventually traded places to form the modern spelling dirt. Linguists trace the word to the Latin word for diarrhea. Filth goes back to the Old English word for foul which was related to the Old High German word for rotten, the Gothic word for stinking, and the Latin word from which pus derives. I still think that what the traffic camera lens had on it was dirt. By the way, that stuff in your garden where the flowers grow isnt dirt. Its soil. Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily! Keep learning! Browse the Expressions category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:Wether, Weather, Whether"Confused With" and "Confused About"10 Writing Exercises to Tighten Your Writing

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