Words: summit, v.

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The Independent Culture
TO SOME of us, George Mallory is a Boswell scholar first, mountaineer second. "With Boswell we never want to leave the world for something better." Had the biographer's papers emerged sooner, Mallory would have surely deferred Everest, where the PBS expedition has found his body (this, alive, was likened by Lytton Strachey to that of "an athlete by Praxiteles").

Mallory's relish of English prose and French painting would make him wince at Dave Hahn's reaction to discovering his body: "What better tribute to the man than try and find out if he had summitted Mt Everest?" Or, perhaps, always good-natured towards pupils, he would suggest that this revives a medieval verb, which - from submittere - was last used in 1483 and meant to submit.

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