Strandentwining Cable

Laying the first transatlantic telegraph cable.

“The cords of all link back, strandentwining cable of all flesh,” wrote Joyce in the Proteus chapter of Ulysses whose “art,” rather fittingly, is philology.
The cords do, indeed, link way back. From late Latin: capulum, meaning “rope,” or “halter” or “sword hilt”) derived from Latin capere‎ (“to capture, seize, take”).

In old French it’s chable, meaning a rope braided from many strands to give it greater strength. It enters Anglo-Norman French as cable or cabel. Chaucer (c. 1390) proclaims in his poem “Complaint of Venus” “Jelosie be hanged by a cable.”*

And so many additional definitions abound in our modern idiom. Braided rope or wire. A telegram. The line running into your house that gives you 240 channels on your TV. A rope-shaped molding is called by architects a cable molding. All these definitions have linkage in common. And strength.
How appropriate, therefore, for encompassing what The Wall was, what Witty Partition was, and what Cable Street is. Different names but the same concept: Bringing the world’s words together, strengthening bonds between cultures and ethnicities, presenting our readers with multiple channels of quality literature and timeless and timely concerns, fostering strandentwining writers and reading.

— Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno

*From the Oxford English Dictionary:
cable, n.
Pronunciation: Brit kerbl/, U.S. kerb(a)l/
Forms: Middle English kable, Middle English—16oos cabul(le, cabyl, cabil, cabille, cabel, cabell, cabelle, (Middle English—1500s gable, gabyll),
Middle English—cable.
Frequency (in current use)
Etymology: Middle English cable, cabel, kable, identical with Dutch kabel, Middle Dutch cabel, Middle Low German kabel, Middle High German and German kabel, all apparently < Romanic: compare French cable, Spanish cable, Portuguese cabre, all meaning ‘cable’, Italian cappio sliding knot, noose, gin < late Latin capulum, caplum a halter for catching or fastening cattle, according to Isidore < capere to take ‘quod eo indomita jumenta comprehendantur’:
compare capulum, capulus, ‘handle, haft’, capulare to take, catch, etc. (There are difficulties as to French câble, older forms of which were caable, chaable, cheable, chclble, which point, through *cadable, to a Latin *catabola a kind of BALLISTA n. for hurling stones, etc., in which sense chaable also occurs: see Cabulus in Du Cange. Littre supposes an early confusion between this and *cable from Isidore’s capulum; others think that as the catabola was put in motion with ropes, it may be the real source. But this does not account for the Spanish and Italian words.)
1. a. A strong thick rope, originally of hemp or other fibre, now also of strands of iron wire. Originally a stout rope of any thickness, but now, in nautical use, a cable (of hemp, jute, etc.) is 10 inches in circumference and upwards; ropes of less thickness being called cablets or hawsers. In other than nautical use, rope is commonly used when the material is hemp or fibre (as in the ‘rope’ by which a train is drawn up an incline), and cable when the material is wire.
c1275 ( ► ?a1200) LA3AMON Brut (Calig.) (1963) 1.671 He hihte hondlien kablen [c1300 Otho cables].
c1320 Sir Guy 4613 Sche come…Doun of þe castel in sel~coupe wise Bi on cable alle sleyeliche.
a1400 ( ► a1325) Cursor Mundi (Fairf. 14) 1.24848 þe mast hit shoke þe cablis [Gott. cordis] brast.
c1420 Chron. Vilod. 862 Alle þe gables of þe shippe þey broston a to.
c1450 ( ► c1390) G. CHAUCER Complaint of Venus 33 þaughe Ialousye wer hanged by a Kable Sheo wolde al knowe.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) Eccles. iv. C A thre folde cable is not lightly broken.
1598 R. BARRET Theorike & Pract. Mod. Warres v.135 Smal cables for the artillery.
1626 G. SANDYS tr. Ovid Metamorphosis viii. 170 He ouerthrowes With cabels and innumerable blowes, The sturdy Oke.