Friday, October 13, 2006

Danger, Will Robinson!


JEOPARDY

Aside from being the thinking person’s favorite game show, today jeopardy is a relentlessly one-sided word. It screams danger and peril, the possibility of losing life, property, reputation, freedom, or anything else that we prize.

But when the word started, it was less one-sided; it was more balanced and equitable. In Old French, it was geu parti, and it meant a divided game, divided in the sense of a 50/50 chance for either side to win.

It involved a game that depended upon strategy, such as chess, a game that could go either way. The geu segment derived from the Latin jocus, a jest or a joke. No one's life was in danger.

By the 14th century, jeopardy had picked up the univocal sense of risk and danger, a radical departure from its original meaning.


Check out Mike's latest book here: http://arbutuspress.com/
at Amazon.com


Visit the Senior Corner at http://seniors.tcnet.org

wordmallATaol.com
(substitute @ for AT above)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Dona Sheehan's prints