Life Is Very Difficult

May honest folk proper.

What etymology is not.

Fact: etymological knowledge is helpful when you want to enlarge your vocabulary. I will not take exception to it. But what is this knowledge?

Take for example the word "committee." This word is typically analysed etymologically into the verb "commit" and the suffix "-ee." The suffix, so the explanation goes, means the person who receives a certain act, as in "employee," "interviewee," or "referee." Therefore, the word committee originally means the person to whom something is committed. Quite a few students think they have understood the etymology of it after hearing this explanation. They even admire it, saying things like, "Nothing is so eye-opening than this!" But there may be some who raise the question such as: "What about the number of the people? After all, a committee is usually made up of more than one person, right? But the explanation tells nothing about it." In other words, a typical etymological explanation only gives an analysis of a word but it is not sufficient to understand how it has got to assume the meaning it has now. I think that in order to say you know the etymology of a word, you have to know more about it. However, the books about etymology found these days at Japanese bookstores do not provide you with this information. Therefore, I propose that what is called etymology in these books should be called "etymological analysis" and that the name etymology should be reserved for something more than this. 

夏休み中は研究を頑張らないといけないのであまり更新できないかもしれませんが、書きたくなったら書きます。もしよかったら夏休み中も読みに来てください。