The history of contemporary English
The history of a regrettable development, whereby such important words as 'ghost' and 'soul' have lost their original meaning.
The original inhabitants of England were the British, Scots and Picts, who spoke a Celtic language. After the departure of the Romans from England at the beginning of the 5th century, the country was inhabited by Germanic tribes from the coastal areas of the North Sea in the centuries afterwards, mainly by Angels (Denmark) and Saxony (Germany). The languages of all these tribes mingled and formed the originaly North-West Germanic Angel-Saxon language.
Centuries later, William the Conqueror (1028 - 1087) captured and occupied England from Normandy. The French culture of the Normans had a great influence in England in the following centuries. The nobility took over French culture and the people followed. In addition, it was the originally Norman royal family of the England of that time, that waged war between 1337 and 1453 in France, a series of wars called the Hundred Years War, which concerned the kingship of France.
Because of this strong mixture of both cultures, the English have adopted a large number of French words in their originally Germanic (for Angel-Saxon) language; as a result, the vowels were finally pronounced completely differently than in Germanic languages. As a result, contemporary English is in fact a separate language in Europe, a Germanic-Romanic mixed language.
For example, it is said that 'language' is an English word, but in fact it is a Latin word: 'lingua' (tongue), which was taken over from the Roman occupiers by the Celtic-speaking Gauls in France as 'langue' and now by the English, who took over the word from the French, is pronounced 'language'.
The same happened with many words in nowadays English.
Because of this great, originally Latin influence on English, many originally Germanic words have been ousted or have lost their original meaning. As a result, the word 'ghost' has lost the meaning 'spirit' as: 'the immaterial, independent being'; it now only means 'ghost', 'spook', while the Latin word 'spiritus' takes the place of it in the form of 'spirit'.
In addition, however, the word 'mind' (from 'to mean'; Dutch: 'menen'; German: 'meinen') has also been given the meaning 'spirit'. While by the development mentioned on the previous page of the meanings of the Greek 'pneuma' ('spirit') and 'psyche' ('soul'), the word 'soul' also got the meaning of 'spirit' ... which led to the current confusion of meanings.
It is best to take this regrettable development for granted and decide to follow the English preference for Latin and to choose the Latin spiritus (spirit) for 'ghost'. It is necessary to make a clear distinction between 'spirit' and 'soul' in order to be able to describe the interaction between the spirit and the brain, whereby the soul - the radiance of the spirit - plays the indispensable role of means of transfer.
back to spirit, soul and body