Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's in a Title?

Meh. I hate when words fail me. Just spent two whole minutes contemplating a title for this post. When what I'm going to do is mostly ramble...too much pressure. Of the self-inflicted kind.

Which got me thinking about the actual word - title. Origins - c.1303, "inscription, heading," from O.Fr. title (12c.), and in part from O.E. titul, both from L. titulus "inscription, heading," of unknown origin. Meaning "name of a book, play, etc." first recorded c.1340. The sense of "name showing a person's rank" is first attested 1590. The verb meaning "to furnish with a title" is attested from 1387.

Interesting. A word with origins from both Latin and Old English. How can that be? Not often that the English language has two sources merging into one word. Where's a copy of the OED when I need one?

Though I was thinking of the word title as the referent used to identify a literary, artistic, or other work, I am reminded of all the other meanings of title. Like professional titles, academic titles, military titles, ecclesiastic titles, titles for heads of state, etc. Hereditary titles. Title as denoting ownership of property like a car title. Job titles. Championship titles.

I love titles. Good ones, that is. Like with movies. If it's forgettable, it's a bad title, . Like "Taken" or "Push." One word titles have to be unique to be good. Like "Fanboys."

Eh? What's in a title? Everything.

Rambling over. Stitching news now. Finished all the cross stitching on Spooky Hill. Just backstitching to go. Now I have to decide what to take with me to NH. And I have a large pile of choices.

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