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DEPORTMENT

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DEPORTMENT

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:08 pm

• deportment •

Pronunciation: di-port-mênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: Behavior, conduct, the way someone behaves as measured against a specific code of behavior.

Notes: Deportment comes from the reflexive verb to deport oneself, semantically unrelated to deportation (unless you are a visitor to a country and your deportment is really bad). Conduct is a synonym of deportment (conduct unbecoming an officer) whose meaning leans more toward moral behavior. Another synonym is comportment, which also means "bearing, physical demeanor, the way you carry yourself": "Her graceful comportment bespoke an inner tranquility."

In Play: We generally use today's word in a context where a specific code of conduct is expected: "Gladys, your criticism of the boss's tie today was deplorable deportment for a staff meeting." Parents are particularly keen on deportment: "Listen to your mother, Sedgwick; be on your best deportment for the interview today—and don't wear those yellow socks!"

Word History: Today's Good Word is a noun based on the Latin verb deportare "to carry away", made up of de- "away (from)" + portare "to carry". The Latin root port- turns up in many English borrowings from Latin: porter, important, and sport from Old French disport "amusement, fun". The original Proto-Indo-European root was the pair per-/por- "lead or pass over". This root came to Old Germanic as *faran, visible today in German fahren "travel by vehicle" and English fare, referring to the cost of travel. Fare also appears in many compounds such as farewell ("travel well" originally) and welfare. (We do not want to pass over Samuel Keays of the Agora without thanking him for his excellent deportment in bringing today's Good Word to our attention.)
Last edited by Dr. Goodword on Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bailey » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:14 pm

so, who is Samuel Keays, ok fess up.

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Postby Stargzer » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:21 pm

Deportment was an entry on our parochial school report cards. I usually had good deportment in those days, but I finally got it out of my system.
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Change of Heart

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:54 am

I had a change of heart about the closeness of the meanings of these three words (deportment, conduct, and comportment) this morning while correcting a typo Larry pointed out. I was overly influenced by the distinctions made by AHD which I now think is simply wrong.

One of the blessings (and one of the curses) of the Internet is that nothing is written in stone and can be corrected with hind sight.

By the way, I was graded on deportment in grammar school (as we called it), too. My deportment grade was always a letter or two below my other grades.
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Postby Perry » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:03 am

I was fairly well behaved in elementary school. (Strangely, I can't remember how my deportment was graded onwards. No doubt it was on a downhill curve. I was the only hippie in a junior high, that otherwise only had frats and greasers). But what used to kill me in elementary school, was being graded down just because I had poor handwriting.
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Postby Bailey » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:37 am

My deportment got worse as I got older and my pranks got bigger, I was the class clown [better than the village idiot] no surprise there. Deportment the grade was always the editorial comment bad teachers gave to underscore their sadism.

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Re: Change of Heart

Postby Stargzer » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:13 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote: ... One of the blessings (and one of the curses) of the Internet is that nothing is written in stone and can be corrected with hind sight. ...


That's the only part of the Internet that Orwell's Big Brother would have liked.
Regards//Larry

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Postby gailr » Thu Mar 22, 2007 6:40 pm

Perry wrote:But what used to kill me in elementary school, was being graded down just because I had poor handwriting.
At least you were spared knowing that your poor handwriting pained the Baby Jesus... :D

It is understood that students must have their education beaten into them, like their manners and deportment.

Here is a Gentleman's Guide to Deportment. (I was particularly disturbed by the Treatise on Dancing.)

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Postby Ferrus » Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:11 pm

Bailey wrote:so, who is Samuel Keays, ok fess up.

mark needs-to-know Bailey

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Postby Stargzer » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:34 pm

gailr wrote:
Here is a Gentleman's Guide to Deportment. (I was particularly disturbed by the Treatise on Dancing.)

-gailr
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I wondered about this one:

If you are going into the presence of ladies, beware of onions, spirits and tobacco."

The Art of Good Behavior. 1845


Does that mean that one would encounter said substances in the presence of ladies because they used them? Spirited women, to say the least!
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Postby Bailey » Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:34 pm

I see this all as very good adivice except if one needs to spit and cannot upon the floor, pray where should said spittle eventually reside?

I recommend that this entire treatise be read to every child every evening on retirement.

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Postby Perry » Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:53 pm

A gentleman is allowed more freedom than a lady.


one must advance or thrust forward the chest or sternum


Much more freedom than a lady. We have the choice of advancing or thrusting, and can do so with either the whole chest or merely the sternum. (Or do I misconstrue?)
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Postby Bailey » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:00 pm

ok Perry, your point? This is only to be expected, the correct deportment for gentlemen.

mark expecting-im's-oh-yes-and-I-know-from-whom-too Bailey

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Postby Perry » Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:42 pm

Aw. Just flaunting my hard-won chest muscles. :roll:
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Postby gailr » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:08 pm

Perry wrote:
one must advance or thrust forward the chest or sternum


Much more freedom than a lady. We have the choice of advancing or thrusting, and can do so with either the whole chest or merely the sternum. (Or do I misconstrue?)

Gentles all, I did note that the Treatise on Dancing is disturbing. However, upon reflection, this advice is still valid―particularly for gentlemen frequenting mosh pits.

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