English: Epidemy

Grijanter

New Member
Spanish
Hi,
Following the pattern of academy/academic, I find it odd not to have a counterpart in common language of epidemy/epidemic
Is there an explanation to this?
Thanks.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Epidemic" in English is both a noun and an adjective, but in what sentence do you propose using an equivalent of "epidemy"?
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    "Epidemic" in English is both a noun and an adjective
    His question is why epidemic is also a noun and not only an adjective. The expected noun following usual borrowing patterns from Latin and Romance would be *epidemy [ə'pɪdəmi]. Why doesn't it exist and why do we use epidemic as a noun instead?
     
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    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    His question is why epidemic is also a noun and not only an adjective. The expected noun following usual borrowing patterns from Latin and Romance would be *epidemy [ə'pɪdəmi]. Why doesn't it exist and why do we use epidemic as a noun instead?

    I understand his question, but there's no logical "reason" for the non-existence of "epidemy," nor does there need to be one; it's just a historical accident like any number of other developments in the lexicon.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    It looks like "academy" came into the language directly as a noun (mid-15c.), followed by "academic" in the 1580s. "Epidemic" came first as an adjective (1600) and was extended for use as a noun around 1750. A French noun épidemié was never adopted.
    So, there is an explanation.:thumbsup: I don't think anybody had though this explanation necessarily had to be a
    logical "reason"
    .
    ;)
     
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