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Launder

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Launder

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:55 pm

• launder •


Pronunciation: lawn-dêr • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. To thoroughly wash; to wash, iron, and fold. 2. To disguise the origin of dubious funds through a legitimate bank or business so as to make them look kosher. 3. To sanitize, clean up language, bowdlerize.

Notes: Today's word has endured much tinkering. Regular derivations include the noun laundry, which means dirty clothes before and after laundering, or the place where we take them to be laundered. Launderer is a person who launders. There are two words that reek of commercial tinkering, however: launderette and Laundromat, an establishment where customers may do their own laundry using coin-operated automatic machines.

In Play: The basic sense of today's Good Word is to thoroughly wash, iron, fold clothing, usually done by a professional laundry: "This shirt has been laundered so many times it's in tatters." Clothes go to the laundry to be cleaned, so we can understand the figurative sense of the word, too: "Robin Banks was caught red-handed when he tried to launder his drug money through a bank operating in cooperation with the FBI."

Word History: Today's Good Word in Middle English was lavender "washer, launderer", borrowed from Old French lavandier "washer, launderer". French inherited the word from Latin lavandaria "the wash, things to be washed". Lavandaria is a word derived from lavanda, the neuter plural gerund of lavare "to wash". This verb or its derivations underlie lavabo, lavatory, and lavish. In middle English the last word was laves, nicked from Old French lavasse "downpour", and polished up a bit. Old English received the same PIE root as leathran "to lather" through Ancient Germanic—today's lather. (Thank you, June Ransbotham of Atlanta, for your suggestion of today's Good Word. The language has been completely laundered by three editors.)
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Re: Launder

Postby jebbritton » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:40 am

Is the French "lavender" related to the herb of the same name?
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Re: Launder

Postby Slava » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:58 am

jebbritton wrote:Is the French "lavender" related to the herb of the same name?

I thought the same thing. It's not. That lavender gets its name from the Latin for a plant livid in color.

While not etymologically, lavender does have a connection with launder. Lavender leaves can be put in with the clean laundry to help keep it fresh smelling.

Welcome to the Agora jebbritton.
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Re: Launder

Postby jebbritton » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:29 am

Thank you for the response and your welcome to me.
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Re: Launder

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:51 pm

Welcome to the Agora, jebbritton. Post often and long. You will find we are a pretty congenial group. Sometimes I do get a little grumpy, but all in good humor.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Launder

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:44 pm

I learned something from the livid question. I felt the word only referred to an extremely angry face, such as red or beet red. When I looked it up, I found it was or dark purpleish color such as a deep lavender. I don't think I've ever seen even an angry person have his face get the dark. Fascinating.

Welcome, and keep hanging with us, jebbritton.
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Re: Launder

Postby MTC » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:15 pm

I'll pile on the pleasantries, jebbritton. Welcome aboard. "We" (speaking Imperially) look forward to your posts.

About the connection between launder and lavender, here's an interesting historical note on Etymonline.com:

lavender (n.) Look up lavender at Dictionary.com
"fragrant plant of the mint family," c.1300, from Anglo-French lavendre, Old French lavendre, from Medieval Latin lavendula "lavender" (10c.), perhaps from Latin lividus "bluish, livid." Associated with French lavande, Italian lavanda "a washing" (from Latin lavare "to wash;" see lave) because it was used to scent washed fabrics and as a bath perfume. (An identical Middle English word meant "laundress, washerwoman;" also, apparently, "prostitute, whore; camp follower" and is attested as a surname from early 13c.). The adjective meaning "pale purple color" is from 1840.

(Underlining added.)

If you search under "lavender" you will find a plethora of body washes so named. Long before the advent of modern sprays, perfumes, etc., lavender was "(u)sed in mummification by the ancient Egyptians, in Medieval times to scent stored clean laundry and since Roman times as a strewing herb and bathwater additive."

( http://www.edenproject.com/shop/go/product.aspx?id=7039)
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Re: Launder

Postby Slava » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:29 pm

MTC wrote:"We" (speaking Imperially) look forward to your posts.

MTC, does this mean you are now the Emperor of the Agora? :!: :?: :shock: :? :P :?

I'm sure I could find other smilies to plug in here, but I thought I'd give it a rest.
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Re: Launder

Postby MTC » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:51 pm

Ha!

I spoke humorously with "Imperial," Slava. The Agora is a democracy in which we all stand as equals. "Editorial we" expresses my actual intent, minus the humor. Comparing it to "The Imperial we" and "The Victorian we," and even 'The Thatcherian We," the entry on Wikipedia states:

The editorial "we"

The editorial "we" is a similar phenomenon, in which an editorial columnist in a newspaper or a similar commentator in another medium refers to themself as we when giving their opinion. Here, she or he casts themself in the role of a spokesperson: either for the media institution that employs them, or more generally on behalf of the party or body of citizens who agree with the commentary.

(Underlining added.)

It seems my efforts at humor have spawned discord, lately. This won't stop me, however.
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Re: Launder

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:28 pm

One of the curses of academic Propriety requires that one write objectively, avoiding the use of the singular I. Oddly, "we" in the generic sense may sometimes be allowed. I have found in the conclusion of some masters theses I have perused that the writer will indeed make a sentence like "It is my conclusion that…"apparently in some quarters this is acceptable, but in most cases the institution prefers, "this writer concludes that…" And has anyone else ever wondered why academic institutions require an exact format for graduate theses and dissertations rather than allowing the student to develop his own form based on the subject? I remember doing an undergraduate term paper on the Republic and stating that rather than following the usual form, I developed a form that fit better the flow of the arguments in the Republic. The prof bought it, and I got an A.
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