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
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.
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