Sunday, January 3, 2010

Feckless, for no particular reason.

The suffix, "less" is used in English to help us understand a thing or an idea in its absence. Hope/hopeless, care/careless, teeth/toothless, etc.  Sometimes the "less" suffix adds a more sinister connotation, as in, "my husband is a hopeless drunk," meaning the husband has not only lost hope but is an s.o.b. as well.

I got thinking about this because I came across the word "feckless," which means, without value, but I had to research it a little to find that "feck" is an obsolete word, meaning valuable. So the word with the suffix stayed even though we lost the original root word.

Makes your day, doesn't it?


Tyler said...

Is THAT what feckless means? "Without value"?!? Excuse me. I have to go and beat up a few people now. I've been called feckless a couple of times by the learned types here at the College, and I just never bothered to look it up...

Oh by the by, I hope you will be happy to know that I've resurrected the blog -- sort of.

Sunni R. said...

Grammar- related nerdiness certainly makes my day, but I'm weird like that.