Sunday, September 22, 2013

Your Brain Has a Bent

Some of you know that I coauthored a book with Dr. W. Eugene Brewer entitled Your Brain Has a Bent (Not a Dent). Recently I was asked about the word bent; where it came from, its etymology and first use. Questions such as these are fun because my brain enjoys using the internet to ferret out possible answers. Some sources indicate that the description of bent as a “mental inclination” is likely from the 1570s, while the description of bent as "directed in a course" is from the 1690s. Not only that, for those who asked about bent and Scriptural references, the Amplified Bible translates Proverbs 22:6 from the Hebrew like this:  “Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent) and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I put bent in italics so it would stand out. The book of Proverbs is part of the Hebrew Old Testament. According to Wikipedia, the earliest copies of parts of the Hebrew Old Testament were discovered in 1947. Part of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, they actually date back to the first century BC. This means that bent may be a very old word indeed. And in my brain’s opinion, every brain does have a bent.

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