Re: Evidence for "Big Bang Theory"

Philip Young (
25 May 1995 14:43:37 GMT

In article <3p073b$>, (Dan Drake) writes:

|> Just what the deuce does whinge mean? When I first ran into it in The
|> Economist, I assumed it was a variant of whine; then T E used both in the
|> same paragraph, which made me doubt it. What are the fine points of
|> distinction between whinge and whine, or are they unrelated?

I think it's something like this: "whine" originally applied
to a sound that didn't have semantic content. F'rinstance,
jet engines whine. It took on a meaning something like
"complaint" because when dogs whine, they don't seem to be
having a good time. People can say neutral things in a
whining tone. So, it's the sound, not the meaning.

Whinge, on the other hand, refers to the meaning, not the
tone. It's a back formation from that well-known exemplar,
"Whinging Pom". 8^}E+3 for the humour-impaired.

Note followups.

Philip R. Young |

"It is the lurid intermixture of the two that produces the
illuminating blaze of the infernal regions."

- Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Rappaccini's Daughter"