Word of the day: Respect

smbc.respectWe all know what respect means. If not precisely, then intuitively. This is about the etymology of ‘Respect’.

When you break it apart, you get Re|Spect. We know ‘re’ means ‘again’, but where does ‘spect’ come from?

Turns out it comes from the Latin word ‘spectare’, and ‘spectare’ means ‘to see’. You put both parts together and you get ‘to see again’.   

Once learning this, ‘respect’ has taken a new meaning for me. If someone feels like you’re not respecting them, take another look, and then look again. And if you feel like you’re not being respected, (calmly) ask them to look at you again, to try and see it from your perspective. If both parties can do that, then both are being respected.

It’s interesting how knowing the etymology of a word can make you look at it in a different light.

And you can’t possibly talk about respect without listening to Aretha Franklin!


Comic via SMBC.

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