Did You Know?
Anent looks like a rather old-fashioned word, and it is, in fact, very old: an earlier sense of the word can be found in Beowulf, from approximately 800 C.E. Anent was at one point almost obsolete—it had nearly died out by the 17th century—but it was revived in the 19th century. Various usage commentators have decried anent as "affected" and "archaic." The former complaint seems like a harsh judgment, and the latter is untrue: although anent is rarely heard in speech, examples of current use can easily be found in written sources, especially in Scottish English. Once a favored preposition in Scots law, it turns up today in the occasional letter to the editor ("Anent your article on…"). Dead words do occasionally rise from the grave, and anent is one of them.
"Whatever the case, the undertaking was soon abandoned in disappointment and apparently with strong feelings anent the region itself." — Wesley Frank Craven, The Southern Colonies in the 17th Century, 1970
"The Act had been a sensible idea. Its absence would be noted. Not least among minority communities who welcomed the protection available from Section Six of the Act anent Online communications." — Brian Taylor, BBC.com, 25 Jan. 2018
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