Inauguration

Share this:

On Inauguration Day, not everyone is talking about the inauguration of the next U.S. president; some (like me) are talking about the animals hidden within the word itself. Listen to my radio commentary for NPR below (or on KQED’s website). Here is the transcript for your pleasure. 

—–

On January 20th, not everyone will be talking about the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States; some of us — well, probably only me — will be talking about the word INAUGURATION itself and the animals hidden within.

An INAUGURATION is the act of starting something new — like a business or a presidency — and its origins go all the way back to the religion of ancient Rome when priests called augurs interpreted the will of the gods by studying the omens aka the auguries to predict whether the undertaking in question was auspicious or inauspicious — a practice referred to as “taking the auspices”

They did this by reading the flight patterns, songs, and eating habits of birds, a practice called “inauguare.”

So, through the root avis meaning “bird,” our feathered friends reside in the words auspices, auspicious, inauspicious, inaugurate, inaugural, and inauguration.

And inauguration became the word we use to elect politicians into office with the hope that their inauguration foreshadows an auspicious tenure.

Today, we know we don’t have to interpret the will of the gods to predict the future; and we don’t need to read the behavior of birds to tell us whether or not an elected official will carry out their duties favorably and with success. (We never really did.)

All we need to do is look at the behavior of the candidate — their experience, reputation, and ability to lead; their honesty, empathy, and vision; their ability to communicate, their commitment to the public good, their allegiance to democracy.

That should tell us everything we need to know.

With a perspective. This is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Comment

  • I heard you today on With a Perspective. Thank you!
    Then I shared it with a friend/artist/activist who is in D.C. now. When I heard the etymology of the word inauguration my jaw dropped because of the work Debbie Baxter is doing. Check it out:
    Debbiebaxter.com
    Yes we should ask the birds. And here’s to other modern day nest builders.
    Cheers,
    -Sarah L.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Related Posts

Home Composting for Zero Waste Living (in a House or Apartment)
Remarkably, we throw away up to 40% of the perfectly edible food we bring into our homes! According to the Environmental Protection Agency “wasted …
Inauguration
On Inauguration Day, not everyone is talking about the inauguration of the next U.S. president; some (like me) are talking about the animals hidden…
How Going Zero-Waste Changed my Breakfast
Breakfast is my favorite meal. I’ve perfected my decades-long ritual of making my tea (a future post, indeed!), preparing my food, and sitting down…

About Colleen

Hello, and welcome. I’m Colleen, aka The Joyful Vegan, and I’m here to give you the tools and resources you need to eat, cook, travel, and live compassionately and healthfully. 

Donating = Loving

For over twenty years, my work and podcast have remained free (and ad-free) and vibrant thanks to support from listeners, followers, and readers. I have no staff, no interns, and no assistant. What you see (and hear and watch) is a one-woman labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood. If this labor has impacted your life in the past year (or the past decades), please consider aiding its sustenance by becoming a patron or by making a one-time donation. Your support makes all the difference.

Favorite Things

Joyful Vegan Messageware

Wear your compassion on your sleeve (or chest or head!) by choosing any number of my message products.

GET YOUR FREE JOYFUL VEGAN GUIDE

Includes delicious plant-based recipes and a meal plan!




© 2022 ColleenPatrickGoudreau.com. All Rights Reserved.