This word, pseudepigraphica came up. There was a question about the spelling and the sense. I have been accustomed to seeing psuedo- written as a prefix with the ‘o’ attached as a combining form. I also have been used to saying it with a ‘way’ sound as in suede. The dictionary says that pseudo- carries the sense of ‘false’ or ‘non-cannonical’. That is a statement about religious doctrine, not about truth. There is no falsity to having contrary interpretations even if others consider them heresy. They did and many still do.
There is an Anglo-Saxon word ‘swa’ that has been questioned and questionable, as it is understood as both ‘the’ and ‘as’. If you know the rune sounds of English, that is not possible. The English Dictionary, a Webster’s, gives sua as a kind of informal discussion period to determine if someone is ‘suable’, that is likely to be ‘sued’. To ‘sue’ is to formally ‘ask’ for something in a law court. “Anglo-Saxon” has a ‘uu’ in words which has often been changed to ‘w’ “by French scribes”, several books say. There is also an alternate spelling, swæ. I ruminated through applicable topics and found that, in Latin, that ‘sur-‘ is equal to sub- as in beneath or below. Then I found that ‘sura’ is the Arabic word for a step, or a book of the Koran. The step you are climbing on is usually below or beneath you.
What is really interesting is how often this same sense code translates to other languages. The thing that is particularly striking is that we can take the same sense of a word -and place a value judgement on it that changes the meaning completely. We can make beneath into a position of inferiority and we can do the same with sub as in subhuman. We make the evil in our words.
What does that have to do with pseudepigraphica? I found the reason for the O-combining form, it is required when the sense would be changed or wouldn’t be sayable without a vowel, as in pseudoapocryphal. Spellcheck routinely separates a word with ‘pseudo’. That brings us to the question of pseudo- instead of psuedo?
The initial ‘p’ still refers to ‘birthing, unfolding, or unfurling. The sense of birthing a ‘suit’ would be coded into this word, with both sense and sound, as an idea! To pronounce this word as ‘sue do’ clearly says ‘sue’. If we didn’t react subliminally to words, this would not be so important. ‘Sue’ has come to suggest more than asking for a thing you believe is due you. The use of the A.S. swa, sua, swæ all have a similar sense in the A.S. Dictionary. That sense is consistent with the spelling; it has to do with stroking, patting, wrapping and many other ways of soothing or modulating the spirit of humans. Think ‘swaddling clothes’. The word pseudo- is called Greek. That is no problem. It can still be related and be spelt or spelled differently. I keep finding that Irish, Celtic and Greek are related. Two thousand years ago they were often neighbors. When I see pseudo- anything in the future, I’m going to think of considering some thing differently, of ‘massaging’ the subject a little and seeing if it changes my perceptions. I will also continue to pronounce pseudo as sway-do. Sway. That is the difference between persuading and gently soothing to another ‘way’.
And yes this does pertain to suede. To suede leather one gently abrades the leather until it is soft to the touch and malleable
These words all strike me as related in sense. I think I will start saying, ‘Swa, swa, my Brother!’ That would be a great way to establish a relationship.
It would not be excessively forward, but it sure sounds friendly. Speaking of ‘sure’ there is a posting on this word and sense element, Oct. 01,2016.
- Judith has written (and re-written) the pages below, initially for a book and now for this website. These files are still under revision, and should not be treated as stable documents.