Sunday, 27 November 2011

Another Word Rant

This time another word whose use makes me almost laugh and cry - expatriate. Maybe it's that I've been an expatriate myself, in Kenya and Finland. The word means someone living outside their fatherland (patria), or as we would say, mother-country.

It's one word, and the EX means outside (as in exoskeleton, external) and not former as in "she hadn't reckoned on meeting her ex there". So it should not be abbreviated to "ex-pat", as newspapers often do: that must surely mean "someone who used to be Irish". Worse - I've seen it printed in official places as "expatriot", which would have to mean either something outside a patriot, or, more plausibly, someone who used to love their country but now doesn't.

Expatriotism is the last infirmity of noble mind??

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