Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

etymology of closed-minded[edit]

I always thought this was a misspelling of close-minded. This post summarizes my reasoning. But the thread has other opinions, and I assume fellow editors here at Wiktionary can help clarify the issue. Which is the correct/original version? --Waldir 10:11, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Open-minded suggests closed-minded as an opposite. Equinox 10:22, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Now it does. But close is an adjective which means precisely "closed". I don't know about correctness, but close-minded seems to be the older form. I'd speculate that as the adjective close has become rarer, "close-minded" has been re-parsed by people as "closed-minded". To me they both seem fine, although in formaL writing I would probably stick with "close-minded". Ƿidsiþ 10:32, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Ƿidsiþ. See also the description that is presented in the link I mentioned above: Close is an adjective, meaning "tight" or "narrow" or "confined" or "occupying a small space" or "extremely limited in extent" or "carefully guarded". This seems to validate the "close-minded" version. Also, closed-minded just sounds plain weird to me, just like "shorted-circuited" or "nations-states" would (different constructs, I know, and both incorrect, but just to demonstrate the awkwardness I'm talking about... it just doesn't feel right to me).
It would make more sense, IMO, if the main description was at close-minded and closed-minded deferred to it (currently it's the opposite). A mention of the relation/evolution of the two expressions, if a source can be found, would also be great for an etymology section. --Waldir 17:46, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
To me it's closed-minded. The adjective close mainly means near. Wiktionary's close does give closed as one definition, but says it is 'now rare' (with which I agree). Some dictionaries do give 'carefully guarded' as one definition. The only example I know of that goes with this definition is 'close secret'. The meaning is that the secret is guarded by keeping it near. Closed, on the other hand, clearly means 'not open'.
It also has to do with the direction of flow of ideas. 'Closed-minded' describes a person who is not open to ideas from others, but as we know all too well, such people are only too willing to give you their ideas. On the other hand 'close-minded' would describe a person who carefully guards his mind and is unwilling to share his ideas with others; he may or may not be willing to let in ideas from others.
As to 'just sounding plain weird', get over it. The very next post in the thread containing the post linked above cites evidence that 'closed-minded' is at least as frequently used, if not more so, than 'close-minded'. Also, I have only heard it pronounced with a 'z' sound for the 's' (and the 'd' is pronounced with varying degrees of clearness); 'close-minded' would have to have a sibilant 's' like the adjective, not the verb. CLandau 03:53, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Most major dictionaries don't contain either version as an entry, but Paul Brians, in his Common Errors in English Usage, and the editors of the American Heritage Dictionary agree with Ƿidsiþ and Waldir above. Moreover, the OED lists close-minded along with close-curtained, close-eared, close-headed, close-hearted, close-jointed, close-lipped, close-meshed, close-mouthed, close-phalanxed, close-tempered, close-tongued, and close-visaged, but does not list closed-minded. In other words, it makes more sense that the main description is at close-minded and closed-minded defer to it. 23:45, 24 March 2011 (UTC)