Saturday, February 23, 2013


Donald has been reading a book on Confucianism. He came across a word in the following passage that he wants more information on:

“When applying the principles of filiality in the text to the relationship between leader and subject, there is no praise for blind obedience. Quite to the contrary, one section is devoted to remonstration.”

‘Of old, an Emperor had seven ministers who would remonstrate with him,
so even if he had no vision of the proper way [Dao
], he still did not lose the empire.’
[Confucianism by Ronnie L. Littlejohn]

Donald’s question was about remonstration and remonstrate. Both variants come from the Latin monstrare, to show. Originally, remonstrate was a synonym of demonstrate, to manifest or reveal. Eventually, it came to mean “to point out a fault to another by way of reproof, disapprobation, or complaint; to protest against a wrong.”

Other words based on monstrare—all of them rare or obsolete—include commonstrate (to make clear), monstrable (capable of being shown), monstration (a sign),and  premonstrate (to portend).

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Nook edition

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