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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
“No man is an island ... any man’s death diminishes me,” wrote the poet John Donne back in 1624. Some 350 years later, the engineer Robert Metcalfe formulated his Metcalfe’s Law that describes how the value of a network grows rapidly with each new node. A telephone or a human, it’s our interconnectedness that enriches us. Just ask a poet or an engineer. Or a linguist.
Language shows our common humanity. About half of the world’s population speaks languages that came from the same parent language (we call it Proto-Indo-European). Languages as different as English, Farsi, German, Hindi, Irish, and Spanish came from the same parent.
Ultimately, we are all related.
Leave it to opportunist politicians to use trumped-up accusations to divide people into us vs. them.
This week we’ll see five miscellaneous words, each of which adds to the richness of the language.
adjective: Divisive; seditious; relating to or arising from faction.
From French factieux (seditious) and Latin factiosus (partisan), from facere (to do). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dhe- (to set or put), which is also the source of do, deed, factory, fashion, face, rectify, defeat, sacrifice, satisfy, Sanskrit sandhi (joining), Urdu purdah (veil, curtain), and Russian duma (council). Earliest documented use: 1527.
“The agreement last month of Syria’s traditionally factious and fractious three million Kurds to put aside their differences and form the Kurdish National Council has alarmed neighbouring Turkey.”
Jonathan Manthorpe; Arab Spring Awakens Kurdish Dreams of Autonomy; The Vancouver Sun (Canada); Aug 3, 2012.
See more usage examples of factious in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:I want people to talk to one another no matter what their difference of opinion might be. -Studs Terkel, author and broadcaster (16 May 1912-2008)