The Old English formula word be worde—andgit of andgite (word for word—sense for sense) can be found in the prefaces to Alfredian translations of the Pastoral Care and the Consolation of Philosophy. Its history goes back to Church Fathers and classical Latin authors. This article surveys Old English and Latin texts where the formula occurs and investigates its cultural context. This analysis suggests that the formula should be seen as part of the rhetoric of the preface genre, while its usage relies on the medieval understanding of the word, the system of education and practices of studying authoritative texts.
Selected Proceedings of the 2005 Symposium on New Approaches in English Historical Lexis (HEL-LEX)
edited by R. W. McConchie, Olga Timofeeva, Heli Tissari, and Tanja Säily Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-412-6 library binding
vi + 184 pages
publication date: 2006
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA