Reanalysis

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:32 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Default)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
A current article in Atlantic contains the following: "[T]he FSB has built an empire in the same way, making minigarchs out of rank-and-file FSB officers whose salaries don’t square with the posh lifestyles they lead." I draw your attention to the coinage "minigarch", presumably a portmanteau of "mini" and "oligarch".

Of course, that's a bastardization reanalysis of "oligarch"; an oligarchy is a state in which there are many few [1] ("oligo") powerful people ("archon"). [I am no doubt messing up the precise Greek, but the roots are common enough...] Evidently the "g" has been reinterpreted as being part of the second morpheme rather than the first. (Compare, in English, "a nadder" > "an adder", or "helicopter", originally "helico-pter" ("helix-wing"), being interpreted as "heli-copter" > "copter".)

Just an oddity....

[1] Thanks to [personal profile] ndrosen for catching my error on this one.

Date: 2017-07-24 01:02 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ndrosen
I don't speak Ancient Greek, but I am pretty confident that "oligo" means few, and an oligarchy is a state that is ruled by few people.

Chemists talk about oligomers and oligosaccharides, which are smaller chains than other polymers and polysaccharides.

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