Monday, March 4, 2013

Word of the Week - File

Very quick one this week, as I'm still on my writing retreat. =) (And have gotten over 20K written in just two days!) In quick research while writing, I learned something interesting about file.


I think I was looking to see if a file folder would have been around in 1865. So in looking up file, I discovered this:

file (n.1)
    1520s, "string or wire on which documents are strung,"
Say what? Strings? Wires? Apparently yes. It comes from the notion of documents being strung up like clothes on a clothes line for safekeeping. The verb entry even had this lovely 17th century quote:

     File (filacium) is a threed or wyer, whereon writs, or other exhibits in courts, are fastened for the better keeping of them. [Cowel, "The Interpreter," 1607]

As www.etymonline.com goes on to say, "Methods have become more sophisticated, but the word has stuck."

See, you learn something new every day. ;-)

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