Changes and Alterations In Week.docx - Parkinson 1 Jordan Parkinson Brother Merrill ENG 327 13 February 2018 Changes and Alterations in “Week” The

Changes and Alterations In Week.docx - Parkinson 1 Jordan...

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Parkinson 1 Jordan Parkinson Brother Merrill ENG 327 13 February 2018 Changes and Alterations in “Week” The word “week” as we know it today refers to a unit of time, usually seven successive days. It is a word with history in many different branches of the Indo-European family, and was originally given the primary meaning of any kind of change or alteration (Online Etymology Dictionary). It wasn’t until the Germanic contact with the Romans that any kind of traditional week as we know it existed, though before this time the word may have evolved to mean something about a unit of time or time passing. It is hard to say. Though the seven-day week is a rather ancient concept, it wasn’t completely reinforced until the spread of Christianity (Online Etymology Dictionary). What is so interesting about the word “week” is not only the changing of the word itself but also this change in meaning which has occurred throughout time. Thus, the word “week” began in Proto-Indo-European (or PIE) most likely as the root *weik, or also *weig, which probably meant something like “to bend, wind”. Again, referring back to the original meaning of the word which leads to a change or alteration of some kind. This PIE root word can be traced to several more modern words in various languages, such as Old Norse vikja "to bend, turn," Swedish viker "willow twig, wand," German wechsel "change” (OED). Each of these words, of course, hearkens back to the change or alteration meaning. It is curious, then, that this word also traveled into other languages and came to mean what it means today – a specific unit of time.
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