Elections & such
I must admit, I find humor in the fact that last week’s post covered demons & devils, & this week’s post moves to politics.
The word Election came to English in the late 1200s, from the French word elecion, meaning choice, election or selection. This term came from the Latin word electionem, which has its roots in the Latin word legere, which meant to choose, or read. I’m inclined to think that with teleprompters, handlers, editing, and the inherent bias of media, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get a truly good read on candidates.
Vote entered English in the mid-1400s, & comes from the Latin word votum, a vow, wish, promise or dedication. This suggests a much more active role than most modern Americans appear to understand. Imagine the difference in mindset if we all envisioned each vote as a promise or vow.
While researching vote & election I stumbled upon the term suffrage, which has always intrigued me. Suffrage came to English in the 1300s and meant prayers or pleas on behalf of another. It comes from the Latin word suffragium, which refers to the right to vote or to lend support. Prayers, pleas, & support seem to reflect a different understanding of voting, again, an understanding closer to the idea of a promise or vow. Interestingly, suffrage also suggests the elections of the past weren’t entirely sweet & light, as the word parts that add up to suffragium are sub- & -frangere, which respectively mean under & shouting.
The word ballot comes from Italian word pallotte, or small ball, due to the Venetian practice of voting by casting a particular colored ball into a bowl or basket. From this we have the term to blackball.
Dear followers, please have something to say this voting season. Here on Wordmonger, you can feel safe, free from shouting & blackballing.