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Aver

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Aver

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:52 pm

• aver •


Pronunciation: ê-vêrHear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: To affirm strongly, with conviction; to assert firmly as a hard, incontrovertible fact.

Notes: The only caution this word needs is a reminder of where the accent falls: always on the second syllable. If you need a noun for the action of averring, averment will do nicely. The noun average is wholly unrelated.

In Play: Anyone who makes a strong assertion is guilty of averment: "Lionel adamantly avers he knows nothing about the frog in the water cooler." The term is used especially widely in legal settings, where its meaning approaches that of allege: "Tess Tomoni averred that she witnessed the entire crime from her bedroom window."

Word History: English borrowed this word from Old French averer, a reduction of Vulgar (street) Latin adverare, comprising ad- "(up) to" + verus "true". The Proto-Indo-European root behind Latin verus came to Old English as wær "faith, pledge" but withered away long ago. Latin verus, on the other hand, was borrowed by English for very. The root was also borrowed in several other French and Latin words behind verify, verdict, the spoken truth, and voir dire, the examination of potential jurors under oath to determine their suitability. The Old French phrase comes from a phrase meaning "to tell (dire) the truth (voir)", the latter also a French reduction of Latin verus. (We aver that Mark Bailey is due a wave of gratitude from us all for having suggested today's Good Word.)
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Re: Aver

Postby MTC » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:36 am

:D
Last edited by MTC on Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aver

Postby MTC » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:37 am

Rare antonym of "aver:"

puffdweedle: (verb) To affirm weakly, without conviction; to assert feebly as a soft, controvertible factoid.

Ety: Unknown. Perhaps compound of "puff" and "dweedle."

Usage: Melvin was marked down for "puffdweedling" in his public speaking course.
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Re: Aver

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:17 pm

Puffdweedling?
Is that a localism???
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Re: Aver

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:27 pm

Puffdweedle is new to me. I kind of, sort of, perhaps, maybe like it if it is alright with y'all. One of my talented progeny had a distinct penchant for avering. She could aver that blue was yellow with such convoluted and forceful arguments that her teacher would doubt her/his own convicitons and give her an A. That is what we call a snow job.
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Re: Aver

Postby Slava » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:30 pm

Puffdweedle sounds more like a noun to me, as in bunkum. Not that it matters, as I rather expect that it is the latest addition the the Apocrypha of MTC.
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Re: Aver

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:42 pm

Aw shucks! And I thought I had just increased my vocabulary with a humdinger of a word.
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Re: Aver

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:59 pm

I'm surprised at the alleged equivalence of aver and allege. If so, it would solve the problem of the newspaper requirement that every arrest is an "alleged" perpetrator, even if caught in the act. Therefore "alleged" reads to me more like "accused," or even "implied." and to be brutally honest - how's that for a cliche? - aver comes across to me as closer to "stated" rather than the implication the comment was true.
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Re: Aver

Postby MTC » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:46 pm

Puffdweedle escaped from the pages of the Apocrypha before I could catch it. However, I aver it is fit for general lexical duty, and hope probably vainly it will be picked up by a needy unit which will put it into service.

Now, on to more serious matters, in the Law
to allege is to claim or assert as a fact. Lawyers and judges commonly speak about "the allegations of the (Plaintiff's) complaint;" what he or she claims, and now must prove with evidence. At this early stage in the litigation Plaintiff's claims are "mere allegations," however earnestly they may be asserted or averred in the complaint.

Legally speaking, aver has two contradictory meanings:
a. To assert formally as a fact.
b. To justify or prove.

The first sense of aver ("a") matches the meaning of allege, but confusingly, the second ("b") proleptically jumps ahead of a mere assertion or claim to anticipate actual proof. Proof requires facts, not mere allegations. Perhaps because of the confusion in actual practice I seldom saw aver employed. Allege was much (100 times as a guess) more common. Other lawyers may have different experience.

Aver, a stuffy, pretentious word, is seldom used outside legal or formal contexts in my experience. When it is we expect whatever is averred either to be true, or at the very least sincerely asserted. In common usage the same can't be said for allege which stresses claimed rather than proved.
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Re: Aver

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:10 pm

And, of course, allegation is the noun from allege.
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Re: Aver

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:07 pm

Now I see, am again a little slow: the word escaped
from the Apocrypha of MTC.
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