aërial elevator

Appleberry

Member
Korean
I encountered this expression in the novel 'Transients in Arcadia' by O. Henry.

Does it simply means elvator or anything particular?

Please help. :)
 
  • Appleberry

    Member
    Korean
    Context is as belows,
    "One can mount its broad staircases or glide dreamily upward in its aërial elevators, attended by guides in brass buttons, with a serene joy that Alpine climbers have never attained."
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Since this is written around the early 1900s, describing a hotel on Broadway, Manhattan, the term "elevator" on its own may have been relatively new, it is possible that aerial just makes the reader understand that it takes one "up in the air".

    Aerial
    adjective
    Existing or living or growing or operating in the air. "Aerial particles" , "Small aerial creatures such as butterflies" , "Aerial warfare" , "Aerial photography" , "Aerial cable cars"
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    100 years ago, perhaps it was OK, but I find the use of a diaresis in "aërial" very affected in the 21st century. It's OK in "naïf" for "naive" person, since that's an unnaturalized French word and the French use a diaresis, but there's no need for it in the English adjective, "naive," either. But "aerial" is an English word.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    There's a book, "
    "Aërial navigation:a practical handbook on the construction of dirigible balloons, aërostats, aëroplanes, and aëromotors" by Frederick Walker 1902, obviously the diaeresis was very popular at that time.

    (You can find it on Google books.)
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    The Century Dictionary, an American dictionary of 1895, has a whole series of word spelled beginning with aër:

    aërate
    aëration
    aërator
    aërial
    aëriality
    aërialness
    aërian

    Its 1909 Supplement has a great many more, including aëroplane.


    Addition: In all cases, the pronunciation given for the word had the Century's equivalent of /eI/ for the first syllable and its equivalent of the schwa for the second syllable.
     
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