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Manual?



I guess David has some stake in this, neither intended to be a referrence
to a personal stake, nor is it to be a personal comment, but this is
largely something he and I have talked about.

  I looked up Latin sources on the origin of "manual." It seems to be a
new ending, that does not naturally exist in Latin. The given fourth
declension genetive for the Latin "manus" happens to be "manus" or
"manuum", though the last is also nominative. The -u- modifier is used in
extension of adding a suffix or additional root, and in manufactus,
manuscriptum, etc. The ablative, dative, and locatives use -i- as well as
-u-, though the first uses only -i-. "Manifold" does not come from Latin,
but appears to be a corruption of the Latin "multiplex", and the meaning
applies between the two. Late Latin offers the first true origin of this
word, which was loaned into Old French apparently ("manuel"), "manualis"
as an adjective from "manuale", which refers to the cover of a book.
Hence, the term manual actually has a history and etymology of being
"biblical" (genetive, of books, no pun intended) in a sense, rather than
an application to the nature of a hand. Its use to human attributes I
beleive has to to with the use of the hands to manipulate it, and that
these are both manufactured and handled (more puns :), sorry...) my man.

  Two great sources:

http://www.geocities.com/etymonline/m1etym.htm

http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/~econrad/lang/ln4.html

  The first can be used to check up some nice etymologies, though not
certainly "authoritative," for many words, not all in common English
usage.

  However, my point here is that some historical precedence seems to
concur with David's oft-repeated argument as to manual being the predicate
to not using "manal," depsite the use of this phrase in the early last
century. The word manal, without any clear reference I could find so far,
appears to be a corruption of "manual" in reference only to hand/forepaw
(pro-/autopodium) anatomy, and such a change may be neccessitated. Maybe
we should just refer to volar/palmer anthropological terms, or
autopodial/propodial....

  Cheers,

=====
Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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