Words Change


late Middle English (sense 2): from medieval Latin recommendare, from Latin re- (expressing intensive force) + commendare ‘commit to the care of.’

It is always so interesting to me the way words and their meanings change over time.  The original use of this word, recommend,  was to actually intensively force the care of someone or something onto someone else.

It was a common practice, in feudal Europe, for a royal of any stature to send his eldest son to someone else—a close friend, an uncle, or simply a wealthy patron, to be reared and taught all he would need to know in his place in the world. In doing so, the father recommended his son into another’s care. Money usually changed hands, unless the boy was to become King one day, in which case a suitable reward would be made later.

Image result for teaching a boy to become a knight

Today, the word has a much softer meaning. We suggest to our friends that they may enjoy a certain restaurant, theatre, or vacation spot. We recommend our friends to a possible employer  by giving a good character reference.  We use a recipe that turns into a family favorite, and we recommend it to our friends. We enjoy a particular vacation spot, and recommend that our friends go there.

Right now, my watch recommends that I get moving and get ready to go to work.  It’s a recommendation I will follow 🙂

RDP: dRecommend


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