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Historical Origins of English Words and Phrases

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propaganda [Jun. 18th, 2008|11:27 pm]
Historical Origins of English Words and Phrases

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[gwoman]
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propaganda, n. [prop-uh-gan-duh, prŏp-ə-gāndə]
-This word started out as part of a New Latin phrase used in the Catholic Church: Congregatio de Propaganda Fide 'Congregation for Propagation of the Faith.' This group was founded in 1622 C.E. by Pope Gregory XV and was a committee of cardinals put in charge of foreign missions to spread the Catholic faith. New Latin's propaganda is an ablative feminine gerundive construction of Latin propagare 'to propagate.' Italian was the first language to shorten the committee's name to simply Propaganda, and by 1718 it had spread to English. The first change in its connotation is seen during World War I when propaganda was used to describe political doctrine spread by a government or party, though it was not necessarily a negative thing at the time. After several decades of use during the 20th century, propaganda still carries both the religious and political definitions, though it often is used with a negative sense of 'biased information.'
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: calmllama
2008-06-19 10:42 am (UTC)
Interesting as always.

Could you add strumpet to your list?
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[User Picture]From: infintysquared
2008-06-19 02:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's an easy one. The hard part is finding a music shop that's willing to tune your trumpet to the key of S, these days.
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From: horitsu_kami
2008-06-20 04:21 am (UTC)
I am unsure if I should be more amused by your comment or your icon...
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[User Picture]From: gwoman
2008-06-21 05:18 am (UTC)
added!
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[User Picture]From: incommune
2008-06-19 02:05 pm (UTC)
This is one of my topmost favourite words in the language! Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: gwoman
2008-06-21 05:18 am (UTC)
absolutely! and wow, i'm honored to have gotten to do a favorite word!
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From: horitsu_kami
2008-06-20 04:20 am (UTC)
Interesting. I would have imagined an origin in a phrase like "pro paganus" which, if my Latin skills do not fail me, would translate to something like 'for the countryfolk', indicating propaganda was aimed at people who were simpleminded and therefore unable to come to the 'correct' decision on their own. But it's the same as propagate. I am quite pleased. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: gwoman
2008-06-21 05:19 am (UTC)
your logic makes sense, though. i definitely see where you were coming from.
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