June 15th, 2019


I came across this headline:

"The English Word That Hasn’t Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years"

The word is lox and the headline is misleading, since lox means a kind of smoked salmon, but 8000 years ago it just meant salmon, period.

And the story of lox, in particular, is mainly a hook to hang a general story about the ancient people who spoke proto-Indo-European, the mother of many tongues, and why there were so successful at spreading their culture - because, it is said, they were the first to tame the horse and then to attach wheeled vehicles to the horse.

I’m glad that proto-Indo-European
Proved so successful.
If it hadn’t, there would be no English,
And that would be stressful.

I’ve invested a lot into English,
A whole lot of time,
Especially studying words
Which do or don’t rhyme.

These ancients lived near salmon,
Which they called lox.
But was a squarish container
Known as a box?