Monday, May 2, 2011


As you almost certainly now know, Osama bin Laden is dead thanks to action taken by the US military at the order of President Obama. Many people consider this a day for celebration while others feel more pensive. I fall into the second category. There is no way this thing is over, and who knows what kind of retaliation will come from his organization in the weeks and months ahead.

Anyway, you're here to read about words, not listen to me wax political. I guess I wanted to have the perfect word to express how I feel on this strange day, but so far words fail me. So, instead I'll go with the great American ideal: freedom

Freedom \FREE-duhm\ , noun;
1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. The power to determine action without restraint

Freedom comes from Old English freodom ("freedom, state of free will; charter, emancipation, deliverance") from freo + -dom. The adjective free is derived from Old English freo ("free, exempt from, not in bondage" and "noble; joyful"), which comes from Proto-Germanic *frijaz from Proto-Indo-European *prijos ("dear, beloved"). *Prijos is based on *pri-, which means "to love."
The verb and adverb free is from Old English freogan ("to free, liberate, manumit; to love, think of lovingly, honor"), which also comes from freo.

Originally, free was synonymous with "beloved, friend, to love," probably because you would be attached to the free members of your clan as opposed to the slaves. The idea of nations being free, as in "not subject to foreign rule or despotism" dates to the late 14th century. Free as in free of charge, as in "given without cost" dates to the 1580's.

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