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Old 05-28-2008, 01:11 PM
CC CC is offline
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Why isn't holistic spelled with a W?

I searched here and couldn't find anything relevant. My understanding of the meaning of the word, holistic, is that it implies completeness, broad approaches, and an appreciation of or attention to the whole. So, why isn't the word "wholistic"? Or is there a different etymology that explains this? (I feel as if I've read something about this in Pinker, but I can't find that, either.) Any help, dopers? xo, C.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:16 PM
Szlater Szlater is offline
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Holistic is derived from the Greek holos meaning whole.
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:09 PM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Whereas "whole" is derived from Germanic roots — hál in Old English, for example.
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:19 PM
ignis_glaciesque ignis_glaciesque is offline
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Yeah, actually, the 'w' in 'whole' is completely unetymological. Some busybody of a scribe put it there because he thought it looked right, or something.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:19 PM
KidScruffy KidScruffy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignis_glaciesque
Yeah, actually, the 'w' in 'whole' is completely unetymological. Some busybody of a scribe put it there because he thought it looked right, or something.
Damn im. Damn im to ell!
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:30 PM
UncleRojelio UncleRojelio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC
So, why isn't the word "wholistic"? Or is there a different etymology that explains this?
If you like to spell it that way, go right ahead. Evidently, and rightly so according to some learned of this board, if you do and it catches on, then you are defacto correcto.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:34 PM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
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The 'w' in worthless is silent.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:55 PM
BACI BACI is offline
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Interestingly, "wholistic" is the spelling used (perhaps most) frequently in Australia.

Just a cultural thing I guess, like we spell tires as tyres.

M
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:56 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleRojelio
If you like to spell it that way, go right ahead. Evidently, and rightly so according to some learned of this board, if you do and it catches on, then you are defacto correcto.
And it would be correct...

...if you can get past all those ifs.

But you can't, and won't.

And that's what separates our position from yours.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:04 AM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Ooh, another prescriptivist vs. descriptivist debate! Let me set up my lawn chair and grab some popcorn.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:01 AM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BACI
Interestingly, "wholistic" is the spelling used (perhaps most) frequently in Australia.

Just a cultural thing I guess, like we spell tires as tyres.
I'd say that holistic is more common than wholistic, but I've certainly seen the latter. The Macquarie Dictionary notes its incorrectness but accepts that it's now sufficiently widespread to have become an acceptable variant:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macquarie Dictionary
This word derives from Greek holos whole, and confusion has naturally arisen with English whole. The spelling wholism has achieved sufficient currency to become accepted as a variant form.

Last edited by Cunctator; 05-29-2008 at 02:03 AM..
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:02 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is online now
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I think, in this case, it's Smut's spelling that should stand, and he spelled it with no w, AFAIK.
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