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Jun 26, 2008
This week's theme
Whose what?

This week's words
deadman's hand
yeoman's service
bum's rush
devil's advocate
widow's walk

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devil's advocate

PRONUNCIATION:
(DEV-uhlz AD-vuh-kuht)

MEANING:
noun: One who argues against something for the sake of argument, for example, to provoke discussion and subject a plan to thorough examination.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin advocatus diaboli (devil's advocate). The Roman Catholic Church used to have a person appointed as a devil's advocate to argue against elevating someone to sainthood. The person arguing for the proposition was known as God's advocate (Latin advocatus dei).

USAGE:
"A devil's advocate would ask what's wrong with offering a scholarship to, say, an eighth-grader?"
Jerry Tipton; Coaches to Curb Youth Movement; Herald-Leader (Lexington, Kentucky); Jun 15, 2008.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago. -Horace Mann, educational reformer (1796-1859)

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