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Jul 23, 2021
This week’s theme
Words that aren’t what they seem

This week’s words
quotennial
philocynic
obviate
mamaguy
diplomatics

This week’s comments
AWADmail 995

Next week’s theme
There’s a word for it
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

diplomatics

PRONUNCIATION:
(dip-luh-MAT-iks)

MEANING:
noun: The study of documents, especially historical documents, in an effort to authenticate, date, interpret, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin diploma (a letter of recommendation or an official document), from Greek diploma (a folded paper). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dwo- (two) that also gave us dual, double, doubt, diploma (literally, folded in two), twin, between, redoubtable, dubiety, diplopia, and didymous. Earliest documented use: 1808.

NOTES:
In ancient times, an official document was folded over and sealed. A diplomat is one who carries a diploma, literally a folded paper or a letter of introduction. You could say that in diplomatics one vets a document to make sure it’s not been doctored.

USAGE:
“Vella’s manuscript could not have survived a careful examination conducted according to the rule of diplomatics.”
Marco Codebò; Narrating from the Archive; Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; 2010.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. -Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia (23 Jul 1892-1975)

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