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Mar 3, 2011
This week's theme
Words borrowed from German

This week's words
sitzfleisch
ersatz
lebensraum
diktat
schwarmerei

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

diktat

PRONUNCIATION:
(dik-TAT)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An order or decree imposed without popular consent.
2. A harsh settlement imposed upon a defeated party.

ETYMOLOGY:
From German Diktat (command, order, dictation), from Latin dictatum (something dictated), from dictare (to dictate), frequentative of dicere (to say). Ultimately from the Indo-European root deik- (to show, to pronounce solemnly), which is also the source of words such as judge, verdict, vendetta, revenge, indicate, dictate, paradigm, interdict, and fatidic. Earliest documented use: 1922, in reference to the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, by Germany.

USAGE:
"Public participation in politics [in China] may not yet be approaching the raucousness in India, but it is equally incorrect to view the Chinese as obedient zombies silently following the State's every diktat."
Cultural Evolution; Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India); Dec 19, 2010.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. -Albert Camus, writer, philosopher, Nobel laureate (1913-1960)

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