Friday, July 15, 2005

Today's Word: Omerta

Today's word was discovered on a fascinating blog called Kottke.org. Mr. Kottke ate sour cream for an entire year - but more importantly, he designed his very own font! Think of that! Fonts are important! Without movable type, books and literature would have to be copied by hand! Fonts allow a clear and efficient transfer of knowledge - and some fonts even bring along their own style and comportment - they add to the language while delivering its message! Thank you Mr. Kottke!

On to our word, the ominous omerta!

So, you criminally minded readers, take note! An omerta is perhaps the most important concept in the world of illicit activity. But come to think of it, the term has application in any society that thrives on trust and exclusivity!

In essence, an omerta is a pact of silence...it is the solemn vow that even in the face of extreme scrutiny, certain information is to be held safe and not divulged - even when faced with personal risk.

An omerta can be a casual assumption, as when dealing with personal information, or it can be explicitly expressed - sealed with a signature or ritual. With an omerta, your word is a bond that ties you to the other parties involved and to their actions. Trust has to go both directions!

The word itself comes from an Italian derivation of a Latin word for modesty. Boasting involves a lot of exposure! If you're mindful, you can discover a lot about a person based on what they brag about!

The omerta is insurance against swaggering. It's a sly agreement that fosters a sense of security and fraternity!

Ok!

3 Comments:

Blogger Mojo said...

Binky's father hurled the baseball across the living room. Binky raised is glove in anticipation of the satisfying smack of ball to leather. But smack was not the next sound he heard as the ball glanced off his glove's webbing, above the fireplace, and into the mantle where, with a satisfying tinkling sound, it demolished Corporal Mugglesworth, his mother's beloved crystal bulldog. Binky and his father stood over Corporal Mugglesworth, or rather, the good Corporal's remains. What to do? Over broom and dustpan their omerta was born.

12:36 PM  
Blogger fdfs said...

So what's the uaage? Are the mobsters "under" omerta? Does Vito say, "Now remember, guys, we have an omerta thing here in respect to the guy in the trunk?" Does Fredo look at Joey and say, "You broke the omerta!"

I need to know.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Mr. Word said...

Omerta is a noun! It can be declared or it can simply be assumed. The popular movie Fight Club has an omerta as a central theme! Don't talk about it!

10:38 AM  

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