updated to Back from the Holzwege
Preliminary remark on the terminology - a saturday night musing exercise
woodpath (En), Holzweg (D), chemin de débardage (F)
When it comes to forestry, the German and English terms which seem to be used convey more vagueness than the French term, which includes the specific purpose of the path ("débarder" means moving the felled tree away from its original location so it can then be transported to the processing site, i.e. outside the forest itself).
Those paths are created by foresters so they can reach the tree(s) they intend to cut down, which shows the extent to which the original meaning shifted over time.
Such paths are shown here in the yellow circles, and allow the foresters to reach the trees they are working on within a given perimeter. They have been operating this way for centuries, and still do, obviously: I spent five hours today walking all over the area shown in this map, and I'm pretty sure I didn't hallucinate the chainsaw roars or the men's hollering echoing throughout the forest...
Yet in some cultures, this knowledge seems to have been lost. Or is it that those who have control and/or authority on our language shape and reshape it in a rather lackadaisical fashion?
My Inner Idiot is beginning to feel a tad restless...
I get it. The lumberjacks and the foresters belong to a universe in which woodpaths have a purpose, and thus always lead somewhere, while the Masters of the Holy Dictionary belong to a parallel universe - that explains why they can't hear the chainsaw, I suppose - in which the mere idea of having to create a path to reach a tree is outrageously preposterous. For the latter, the only useful paths leading somewhere are those leading to the closest Ikea store, which is where wood is created in test tubes.
"But what about Heidegger?", I hear you moan... He's sauntering along on one Holzweg or the other, but I'm sure he'll join the foresters for a natter and a coffee at some point.
Today was a good day, I also found a Holzweg, and it lead me somewhere.
Holzwege are the paths which enable us to see the tree from the forest