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Jul 14, 2008
This week's theme
Words related to royalty

This week's words
magna carta
royal we
morganatic
king's ransom
queen regnant

Magna Carta, 1297 edition
Magna Carta
Photo: The US National Archives

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Royalty -- an outdated idea. Kings and queens, princes and princesses mostly appear in fairy tales now, and that's exactly where they belong. Most of the world did away with them long ago. Others, such as the citizens of Nepal recently, are realizing that having someone appointed as the head of a country just because he or she was born in a certain family makes about as much sense as fire-breathing dragons and gold-spinning maidens.

Well, what would happen to the publishing world without them, one might ask. Sure, the royals do help the tabloid industry, but in their absence we can count on Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson to fill the vacuum. As a service to humanity, they would selflessly agree to ratchet up their daily quota of antics. And they would do it without being a burden on the taxpayers.

The only species of monarchs I support is the monarch butterfly. Monarchy deserves to be extinct. In the meantime this week let's look at five terms related to royalty.

magna carta

PRONUNCIATION:
(MAG-nuh KAHR-tuh)

MEANING:
noun: A document or a law recognizing basic rights and privileges.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin magna carta (great charter). After Magna Carta, a charter of political and civil liberties that King John of England was forced to sign on June 15, 1215. It was revised several times over the years, and it became an important symbol, establishing for future generations that there were limits to royal power.

USAGE:
"A magna carta for industry development recognizing that 'small and medium enterprises are the dominant constituent of the industry' is an absolute necessity."
Integrated Approach Needed For Construction Industry; The Island (Colombo, Sri Lanka); Jun 18, 2008.

See more usage examples of magna carta in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Invention requires an excited mind; execution, a calm one. -Johann Peter Eckermann, poet (1792-1854)

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