News的含义

看了这么多年的新闻,直到今天才从《基础写作新编》上看到News的来历,说的很有意思:

新闻一词在英语中成为News,出自十八世纪,是代表东西南北(的事)的意思。

君不见,North、East、West、South的首字母凑到一起,就成了News!

不过,这种说法好像并不正确。

查阅金山词霸2005中的《美国传统词典(双解)》,News的语源是:

Middle English newes [new things, tidings] [pl. of] newe [new thing, new] * see new 中古英语 newes [新事情,新潮] [] newe的复数 [新事情,新的] *参见 new

其注释为:

If you take the first letters of the directions North, East, West, and South, it is true that you have the letters of the word news, but it is not true that you have the etymology of news, contrary to what has often been thought. The history of the word is much less clever than this and not at all unexpected. News is simply the plural of the noun new, which we use, for example, in the adage “Out with the old, in with the new.” The first recorded user of this plural to mean “tidings” may have been James I of Scotland; a work possibly written by him around 1437 contains the words “Awak . . . I bring The [thee] newis [news] glad.” It is pleasant to see that the first news was good. However, his descendant James I of England is the first person recorded (1616) to have said“No newis is better than evill newis,”or as we would put it, “No news is good news.” 如果你取北、东、西、南四个单词各自的首字母,就得到单词news 的所有字母, 但是这并非news 的出处。 这个词的历史远比这巧妙且不是完全不可想象的。News 是名词 new 的复数形式, 举例来说,我们在谚语“旧的去了,新的来了”中使用了这个词。关于把这个词的复数作为“音讯”来用的最早记录是苏格兰的詹姆士一世,在他写的一本约1437年的书里有这样的话语“阿瓦克……,我给你带来好消息,”看到第一条是好消息是很让人高兴的。然而,他的后代英格兰的詹姆士一世却是记载(1616年)最先说出下面的话的人:“没有消息比坏消息好” 或者如我们所说的“没有消息就是好消息”

看起来母校(现为中国海洋大学)的教授们有些不求甚解了!

最后再说一下在中国新闻一词的起源,据说是来自唐朝尉迟枢所作《南楚新闻》一书,其含义相当于现在所说的珍闻、奇闻吧。