Monday, July 4, 2011

Word of the Week - Patriot

I love being an American. I'm proud of my country, I admire our roots, and I truly believe in the ideals on which we were founded. I will sing "God Bless America" from the top of my lungs! I don't think my country's perfect by any means--but it's mine. I'm a patriot.

But patriot wasn't always a good thing! It's an old word, tracing its roots bake to the Greek "patriotes," which means "fellow-countryman," which of course comes from "patrios"--of one's father, and "patris"--fatherland. In the early 1600s, patriot had gained the meaning of "one who is a loyal supporter of one's country." But in the mid-18th century, it became a term of derision--it had come to be applied to those whose passion led to divisiveness and disturbance of the government.

So when Americans were branded as Patriots, it sure wasn't a compliment. But in true Yankee fashion, we took what was meant as an insult and turned it into a badge of honor. Though the word still retains negative connotations in other parts of the English-speaking world, Americans wave the flag of patriotism with truly old-fashioned delight.

Now--for a truly amazing online celebration of Independence Day, hie thee over to the Colonial Quills! Many of us will be showing up in character to talk about what the day means to us. I'll be there as Lark Benton from Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, so to get a sneak peek of my upcoming heroine, come on over!

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