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complicit

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complicit

Postby William Hupy » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:32 am

Shouldn't this word render down to "with" and "legitimate"? Yet it partners only with nefarious type fellows, such as complicit in crime. What gives?
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Re: complicit

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:26 pm

Etymology is interesting and useful, but it does not always explain the current definition of a word. Although the source of complicit is silent about the nature of the complicity, our present definition requires complicity to be toward nefarious acts. If one is peripherally involved in the commission of a good deed, he/she is not complicit to the action. It is not ours to reason why, it is but ours to accept what the dictionaries say. Well, not always. We can march to the beat of a different drummer, but we risk being out of step with the total system. If your drummer tells you that complicity can be applied to good actions, by all means try using it that way. Don’t be surprised, though, when the world does not understand you.
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Re: complicit

Postby Slava » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:19 pm

William Hupy wrote:Shouldn't this word render down to "with" and "legitimate"?

Why do you think it should? What I've seen is that the "plicit" here comes from folded.
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Re: complicit

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:55 am

Related to accomplice. The folding implies togetherness and comradeship. Accomplice and complicity are technically neutral, but tend in us to refer to criminal activity though often used humorously.
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Re: complicit

Postby William Hupy » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:34 am

Slava - because illicit is illegal, so licit should be legal?
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Re: complicit

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:01 pm

I believe licit does mean legal.
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Re: complicit

Postby Slava » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:20 pm

Licit may mean legal, but plicit means fold.
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Re: complicit

Postby William Hupy » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:24 am

Ah, I see "plico" in my Latin dictionary. Thanks Slava.
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