A DAY w/O INTERNET (11 NOV 09, Armistice Day)
On Armistice Day, stymied w/o internet access from home, I wondered how I would manage.
Watching DW-TV (Deutsche Welle) I saw that the report from Brussels was backgrounded with a large
making me wonder whether the origins of the city were an ancient Roman salt-spring, producing Selter(s)wasser, that is, soda-water. Or was DW-TV just indulging in a typographical spass (joke) by breaking Brussels in half - as Belgium is, culturally & linguistically.
Unlikely, but w/out access to Google, I felt stymied here in my apt., so I consulted my reference books at hand:
My little 1-vol NEW MODERN ENCYCLOPEDIA (Wm. H. Wise, NYC, 1943) doesn’t mention Brussels’ linguistic origins. Neither did the Compact OED (readable only by magnifying-glass.) Nor did Harrap’s MODERN COLLEGE FRENCH-ENGLISH DICTIONARY, nor THE NEW CASSEL’S GERMAN DICTIONARY. For now, I gave up.
Finally, a week later, with my access to the internet restored, I googled Brussels, immediately clicking on Wikipedia:
The most common theory for the etymology of Brussels is that it derives from the Old Dutch Broeksel or other spelling variants, which means marsh (broek) and home (sel) or "home in the marsh".
So much for sel as salt-spring. Ah, wonderful Wikipedia, once reached.