[Milton-L] Strange word

Carol Barton, Ph.D., CPCM cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Sat Aug 11 11:09:56 EDT 2012


See 
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Pentathlon.html

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Emily Griffiths Jones" <holysonnet at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 6:06 PM
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Strange word

> My guess would be that it's an alternative spelling of "quoiting," or
> playing quoits--basically, ancient ring toss:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quoits
>
> Fun question!
>
> Emily Jones
> Boston University
>
> On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 5:50 PM, Nancy Charlton <nbcharlton at comcast.net> 
> wrote:
>> I wonder whether someone could solve this puzzle.
>>
>> The OED has been choosing words related to the Olympics in its daily Word 
>> of
>> the Day email, and today's is "pentathlon."  Pretty straightforward until 
>> it
>> came to this usage example:
>>
>> 1603  P. Holland tr.  Plutarch Morals (Gloss.) at Pancratium, The 
>> practise
>> of all the fiue feats of activity, which is called Pentathlon and
>> Quinquertium: to wit, buffetting, wrestling, running leaping and coiting.
>>
>>
>> Buffeting must be akin to boxing; wrestling, nothing new there.  Is a 
>> comma
>> omitted in "running leaping" thus perhaps like the broad jump, or is it a
>> series "running, leaping"?
>>
>> But "coiting"?  This must be an example of extreme change of meaning! 
>> Well
>> beyond the Great Vowel Shift!
>>
>> I think we've discussed Milton's involvement in sport, or lack of it, but 
>> I
>> can't help wondering what he'd think of contemporary Olympics.  Beach
>> volleyball?
>>
>> And BTW, the pentathlon events are scheduled for this weekend, according 
>> to
>> its web site, http://www.london2012.com/modern-pentathlon/about/.  I 
>> don't
>> know whether NBC will bother broadcasting any of it.
>>
>> A Gold to all,
>>
>> Nancy Charlton
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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