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INTEGRITY

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INTEGRITY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:41 pm

• integrity •

Pronunciation: in-te-grê-ti • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: 1. Wholeness, the state of being complete and intact; soundness, as the integrity of car after the wreck. 2. Moral soundness, honor, high moral standards, as a man or woman of integrity.

Notes: Today's word has a missing family member, an adjective. Most qualitative nouns like this one have an associated adjective (e.g. a man of honor or an honorable man). Today's word has no such match (a woman of integrity or an __?__ woman). Be careful this trap doesn't leave you tongue-tied; avoid sentences like this one, where you need the meaning of this word before a noun.

In Play: The original sense of today's Good Word has to do with wholeness: "Age and exposure to the sea had compromised the integrity of the boat." From here it migrated to a sense of honor: "Age and exposure to Wall Street had compromised the integrity of the boss." An interesting aspect of this word is that its two meanings are compatible. We often hear sentences that are ambiguous or imply both senses: "The integrity of political system is currently at risk."

Word History: Today's Good Word leapt into English from Old French, coming down from Latin integritas "soundness", the noun of the adjective integer "whole, complete". The meaning here comes from the concept of all parts being in contact with each other, for the original root is *tag- "to touch, handle". It is yet another root with the famous 'Fickle N'. With the N we get tangere "to touch", which underlies our words tangent and tangible. The past participle of this verb is tactus, found in such borrowed words as tact, intact, and taste. (We should all be touched by the suggestion of Susan Gillmor of Portland, Maine, that we soundly explore the whole of this Good Word.)
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Postby Brazilian dude » Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:35 am

But we lack no adjective: Portuguese/Spanish íntegro, Italian integro, French intègre, Catalan íntegre and Romanian integru.

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Postby Stargzer » Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:05 pm

Brazilian dude wrote:But we lack no adjective: Portuguese/Spanish íntegro, Italian integro, French intègre, Catalan íntegre and Romanian integru.

Brazilian dude


From my Cassell's French-English Dictionary:

intègre a. Honest, upright, just.
intègrement adv. Honestly, uprightly

intégrité n.f. Integrity, uprightness, probity; soundness, entireness.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Sep 19, 2005 5:31 pm

What's your point, Stargzer?

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Postby tcward » Mon Sep 19, 2005 5:37 pm

I think his point is that French intègre means "honest", whereas intégrité means "integrity, honesty" (as the GWoD is "integrity").

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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Sep 19, 2005 5:45 pm

But we knew that. I was wondering if maybe he was thinking English had no adjective for intègre. What I meant, as the doc had said, is that the noun integrity doesn't have any related adjective that resembles it, whereas Romance languages do. Ah, you know what I mean.

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Postby Stargzer » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:03 pm

Brazilian dude wrote:But we knew that. I was wondering if maybe he was thinking English had no adjective for intègre. What I meant, as the doc had said, is that the noun integrity doesn't have any related adjective that resembles it, whereas Romance languages do. Ah, you know what I mean.

Brazilian dude


Yes, it was a more detailed example for those unfamiliar with French, showing the related words. I'm not enough of a French expert (actually, nowhere near being an expert) to say whether the difference between the accent grave and accent aigu makes them different words, or only marks a difference in pronunciation.

We have integrant, meaning "Constituting part of a whole; integral."

Maybe we should manufacture a new word, integrital, from integrity plus -al meaning " . . . relating to or characterized by . . ." or integritant from integrity plus -ant meaning " . . . Being in a specified state or condition . . . ."

Alas, to do so I'd probably be considered delusional or flippant.
Regards//Larry

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Postby gailr » Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:14 am

How about integrious? :)
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