Depose

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 6766
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA
Contact:

Depose

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:42 pm

• depose •


Pronunciation: di-pozHear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. (Archaic) To put down, deposit. 2. To remove from high office. 3. To question a witness or suspect, to take testimony under oath that is recorded in an affidavit.

Notes: Today's word that has migrated far away from its original meaning (No. 1 above). The action noun for the modern usage is deposition. The verb comes with a passive adjective, deposable. The person being deposed is a deponent. Also, the archaic sense above (No. 1) still has a noun in common use: deposit.

In Play: The use of the legal sense above is widespread: "The higher the investigation into the misconduct surrounding the president goes, the broader the range of witnesses and suspects who want to be deposed rather than take the witness stand." The second meaning above is also quite widespread: "The plotters conspired to depose the king and replace him with one of his sons."

Word History: Today's Good Word is loot from English's favorite victim, French, this time déposer "drop off, deposit". This verb comprises dé "down, off, away (from)" + poser "to put, place", source also of English pose and position. Poser resulted from a remarkable confusion between Late Latin and Old French. Poser is structurally what French made from Latin pausare "to halt, pause". Somehow it was confused with what it had made from Latin ponere "to put, place", Old French pondre, today meaning "to lay (eggs)". Now, the origins of both ponere and pausare are veiled in mystery. We know pausare was a PIE word, for it shows up in Greek pausis "stopping, ceasing". Various attempts have been made to prove that the same is true of ponere, all of which are complicated by significant problems. (Gratitude today is owed wordmaster George Kovac of Miami, Florida, for recommending this very, very topical Good Word.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword

bbeeton
Lexiterian
Posts: 302
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:34 am
Location: Providence, RI

Re: Depose

Postby bbeeton » Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:50 am

Might "posit" also be related?

User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 6783
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Depose

Postby Slava » Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:24 am

Given that position is related, I'd go for posit also being so. I'm pondering ponder, myself.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

George Kovac
Lexiterian
Posts: 383
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:54 am
Location: Miami

Re: Depose

Postby George Kovac » Fri Aug 19, 2022 11:27 am

Thank you, Dr GoodWord, for that fascinating etymology. I am guessing that the Spanish verb “poner” (to put) derived from the same source…and that is a long walk from the modern English word “depose.”
"The messy layers of human experience get pulled together, and sometimes ordered, by words." Colum McCann, But Always Meeting Ourselves, NYT 6/15/09

Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 2736
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Depose

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Aug 19, 2022 4:24 pm

My mother-in-law was a court reporter. She recorded a lot of depositions.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.


Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests