Fly Fly Away!

how do those thousand ton machines actually float in mid air anyway?

How do those thousand ton machines actually float in mid air anyway?

Language is basically a facet of communication, a way to express our thoughts, but it’s often been said that language is a limitation to thought. Language is constantly in flux, with new words being created or borrowed within the thousands of existing languages. Words are often closely related, either because of meaning or etymological history.

Think about the words we use for flying: fly, flights, etc. Its a verb, an adverb or adjective, a noun… but then we have a different name for things that fly, like airplane or helicopter. Similarily, in French, ‘voler’ is to fly, ‘vol’ a flight, (vuelo in spanish) and ‘avion’ an airplane in both French and Spanish. In other languages, flight and planes are much closer related words, where the title of an object that flies is clearly built on the word ‘to fly’. In Icelandic, fljuga is the verb to fly (flug is the noun), and a plane is simply a ‘flugvel’, loosely translated as ‘flight-engine’. In German, an airplane is a ‘flugzeug’, and a flight is ‘flucht’. Further eastern european countries lose the resembling ‘flyvning,’ ‘flygning’ or ‘vlucht’ of Indo-European languages, and in Latvian, airplane is lidmaš?nu, and flight is lidojumu, with Finnish meeting somewhere in the middle between the nordic and slavic languages with airplane said as ‘lentokoneeseen,’ and flight as ‘lennon.’

Etymologically speaking, the word ‘flight’ is said to have originated from low German ‘fleugan’ (circa 1300’s), and was first used to describe skittish horses and then defined as “an instance of flight,” as in ballooning. Before the Wright brothers came around with airplanes, flight really was a supernatural event, which only winged animals and insects could partake, but who could have know that today, millions of people and planes fly in the air every day, defying the laws of gravity and even reaching the frontiers of space!

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