Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Goodbye is actually a contraction, but don't hold that against it. It's a merging of the phrase God be with ye, which actually makes it more on par with its French and Spanish counterparts. How nice of us to compact the various phrases other languages use to cover all types of farewell scenarios into one tidy package. If that's not efficiency, I don't know what is. And English usually gets a bad rap in this regard. Back in the day, goodbye meant, not I'll never set eyes on you again (How do I know this? Because if it did, the modern word would be Illnersetsonugin. Duh.) but: "stay safe, god willing, until we meet again."
So the goodbye I'm thinking of smacks of both protection spell and text. Yes, text. I mean, why would a culture merge words unless they were too busy to articulate them? The same culture was too manic to waste time on hunkering down to their books to make sure all the appropriate words were represented, which means the spellings handed down are give or take a few letters. Sound familiar? You could say 'bye was the precursor of the hacked attempts at wordings we relay through a vast range of electronic devices in this day and age. And to think it can be traced all the way back to the 1560's (roughly).
No doubt about it. Goodbye is my word BAE today.