Words and omens

Brick home

Many words have interesting biographies. Often their parents and grandparents come from faraway lands. A few months ago when Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, took office, the usage rate of the word “inauguration” was very high and it was at that time when I discovered inauguration and inaugurate were derived from the Latin word “inaugurare” meaning something along the lines of “approval on the basis of omens” which the ancient Romans determined by the flight patterns of birds.

I remember when I was a primary school student I assumed that flocks of birds flying in the early autumn sunsets’ rosy sky above our back garden were simply heading home after a long day at school. My grandma allowed me to skip rope in the afternoons in our back garden before  calling me inside to write my homework, and sometimes in the middle of skipping I was surprised and stopped by the…

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