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Monday, January 19, 2009

Word of the Week

It should come as no surprise, folks, given what week it is. Actually for many, including myself, the word of the week is also the word of the year, the century, maybe even the millenia.


According to the online etymological dictionary, the word dates from 1569, and is from those freedom lovin' folks the French. Of course it didn't start with them. Like much in our native tongue the word comes from the latin, in this case, inaugurationem, which means, believe it or not, "to install under good omen." which in turn comes from inaugurare--take omens from the flight of birds and consecrate when such omens are favorable. From "in" meaning "on, in" and "augurare" meaning "to act as an augur, predict."

Wowza. So the whole thing is NOT a done deal. When the new president raises his hand and swears the oath of office, it's really an act of faith (in the broadest sense) and a hope that things will "augur" well for the future.
Who knew?

Kind of spooky thinking about those bird flights, though. I heard there'll be a bald eagle there. Hope if he takes off, he'll fly well.

On the other hand, who out there knows how to interpret such things anymore?

The oracle at Delphi, the vestal virgins...all dust.

Just as well. Wouldn't want to rest my country's future on the wings of birds.

Even so, the inauguration is still an iffy proposition. It's the day AFTER the ceremony we should all be looking toward.

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