Posts Tagged ‘etymology’

Deliberate

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Deliberate this:

  1. When used as an adjective, it is pronounced with a soft ‘a’ and means “done consciously and intentionally.”
  2. When used as a verb, it is pronounced with a long ‘a’ and means, “engage in long and careful consideration.”

Etymologically, they both come from Old French “deliberation” from the Latin, “deliberatrionem”, [ late 14c., Old French deliberation, from Latin deliberationem (nominative deliberatio), noun of action from past participle stem of deliberare “weigh, consider well,” from de- “entirely” (see de-) + -liberare, altered (perhaps by influence of liberare “liberate”) from librare “to balance, weigh,” from libra “scale.” ].

The concepts of “deliberating the best course of action” and “deliberately taking an action” seem worlds apart. To say someone deliberately did something basically means that you believe they had at least some form of rational intention. Sociopaths actions may be deliberate, but they failed to deliberate before choosing a course of action.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=deliberate

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