Hard to Accept

There is a word in the english language that stumps me. I have difficulty using it mostly because I forget if it is negative or positive. It scares me and I don’t like it but quite frankly I’m not entirely sure why I find it so challenging. The word?

Condone.

Say it aloud and tell me it doesn’t sound negative. If Zaumist rules applied (meaning of a word is created through the sound rather than the meaning associated with it) then it would most definitely be a negative, bad, bad word. But in fact, it means to approve of something that is morally wrong. But then why do I struggle with it? I start a sentence, approach the position where the word should fit and then squirm away like a worm from an attacking bird, fearful my head will be removed for incorrect usage. I think I find it the most challenging when it is used in a negative form – Eg. I cannot condone your use of illicit drugs, son.

According to my little computer dictionary (which I trust whole-heartedly) it is latin in origin – from condonare ‘refrain from punishing’. Con means ‘altogether’ and donare is ‘to give’. Thinking about other ‘con’ words you have concede, conceive and concession (good words) but you also have conceited and conceal (evil words). So basically that’s no help. Normally words and I get along but not this one. Perhaps the solution lies in Con the Fruiterer. Cheery man, cheery word?

Con the Fruiterer

Dat's a joosy woird!

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