Word: inauguration

Pronunciation: i-nah-ɡ(y)ə-RAY-sh(ə)n

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: the beginning or introduction of a system, policy, or period

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


Was there any other word I could have chosen for today’s Word of the Week? Being American and a blogger only since April 2013, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to write about this word while it’s relevant to current events. The event in question has been in the news for weeks, what the entire campaign of 2016 has been leading up to, and now it’s only days away: the “inauguration” of the next U.S. President!

An “inauguration” is the introduction or beginning of a period, system, or policy. The word is the noun form of the verb “inaugurate” (meaning to “begin or introduce a system, policy, or period”), which arose in the late 16th century and comes from the Latin verb inaugurare, meaning “to interpret omens from the flight of birds”. This verb consists of the preposition in “within” and the verb augurare “to predict”.

The history of the word “inauguration” dates as far back as Ancient Rome, when Roman priests would interpret through rituals and bird flight patterns if the gods deemed a public official worthy of assuming office. Notably, aside from its primary meaning, “inauguration” also has two sub-definitions. The first is “the formal admission of someone to office”, which applies to the aforementioned political event. The second is “a ceremony to mark the beginning of something”, such as the opening of a building or recreational area. If you like to write about the beginning of an era or the grand opening of a new facility, you could have fun creating a good “inauguration” scene for your stories!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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