Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One-Horn

(1) The heart is a large involuntary muscle in the chest cavity.

(2) The heart has its own timer: it takes advice, but not orders, from the central nervous system.

(3) Heart is where the home is.

(4) If you go back far enough, heart is related to core, courage, cordial, and cardiac (but not to curd, curt, or courteous): the hypothesized Proto-Indo-European root is kerd-. The Germanic languages, you will recall, changed an intial 'c' into 'h', which is why a Latin unicorn has a cornus, but an English one has a horn.

(5) The meanings of English heart used to include "memory." We have forgotten this, mostly. Except that we still learn things "by heart."

8 comments:

Kaspalita Thompson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fiona Robyn said...

That clears that up then :)

christopher said...

Thanks for this. I love this kind of etymology and "heart" is certainly one word worthy of its place in modern times. The "k" to "c" to "h" track is a softening, kerd* to card* to heart.

Kathleen said...

Loved learning all this!!

am said...

"When the heart is right
'for' and 'against' are forgotten."
(Chuang Tzu, from Whiskey River today)

Thanks for this:

(2) The heart has its own timer: it takes advice, but not orders, from the central nervous system.

Zhoen said...

It's an endocrine gland, and possibly a supplemental brain.

Jayne said...

1-5 -- marvelous. Learning by heart. I never thought about the origins. You're a wonder, Dale. ;)

(You think Reiki helps to keep the dorsal cavity healthy?)

rbarenblat said...

This is beautiful, Dale.

In the Biblical understanding, the lev -- heart -- is where memory and intellect reside...