That’s me on the TV

That’s me being interviewed about the Tang Teaching Museum during a day when nonprofit museum and art spaces got to meet people spending the day at the Saratoga Race Course.

I use the word “awesome” in it, and I wonder about that word. My use refers to something that fills one with awe, is “awe inspiring” or is full of awe, or is “awe-full.” “Awful,” though, is a word that at one point meant what “awesome” now means. So how did “some” come to stand for “full”? Some blame overuse in the 18th century.

But I wonder: Are there other -ful words that have become -some words?

How about “dreadful” and “dreadsome,” or are those both used, and both mean about the same thing (though maybe dreadsome sounds a little more archaic). It isn’t like people once said “beautiful” and now we saw “beautisome”; or “painful” —> “painsome”; or “thoughtful” –> “thoughtsome.”

Then again, there’s the relationship between “handful” and “handsome,” which in the first means something that can fit in a hand OR something (or usually someone) who is hard to control, versus someone who is good looking. Though that interpretation may mean someone who is easy on the eyes, or whose looks are easy to handle, which then gets the word closer to first definition of handful.


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