fetch, fetching

 

fetch, fetching

By LAWRENCE FELLOWS

To fetch is to go after something and bring it back. Fetching is not quite the same word, although both come to us from variations of the Old English fetian and faet, for “step” and “foot.”

Fetching used to mean contriving or crafty. It’s not too far-fetched to accept that fetching, in the sense of “taking,” has come to mean alluring, fascinating, attractive.

And with the help Grandma is getting with that quilt, it should be quite fetching.

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The Writer's Stylebook is a unique collaboration between two former journalists -- my father, Lawrence, and me. Mr. Fellows, an impassioned wordsmith and journalist of long standing, created the original Stylebook, which he distributed to Connecticut newspapers and worked on for over a decade until his death 16 years ago. In 2003, the Connecticut Press Club published "Wordwatch: A Writer's Guide to Linguistic Distinctions," a compendium of nearly 300 of my father's word features. Unfortunately, that book is out of print and my father's features have been languishing in the attic of our family home in Westport -- until now. With the blessing of my mother, Ruth, I'm reviving the Stylebook and putting it online in the hope that it will find new readers. I think there's a need for a lively, illustrated guide to words and word usages that isn't wordy -- especially in today's fast-paced world!

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