Trivia Teaser

Which word can follow 'but', 'car' and 'Fu', to make 3 new words?

Port
Ton
Tile
Man

Freebooting

07
Jun
2010
 

By Miranda

US President Obama's health care reform saga has filled the media outlets of the world for the last year or so.

The extraordinarily long drawn out process of moving his bill through the two chambers, Congress and Senate (not necessarily in that order), has had a horrid fascination for anyone not well acquainted with the US way of legislating.
Even more fascinating, though less horrid, are the terms used to describe the various manoeuvrings on the journey.

In the end, as I understand it, the Democrats had the numbers in both houses but the Republicans had a final option of filibustering, the threat of which gave sufficient grounds, or perhaps motivation, for the Democrats to initiate a reconciliation.

The filibuster is a means of preventing a bill being passed by making an extremely long speech which delays a vote being taken. The idea includes the technical triggers which allow even more long speeches to be made. A determined filibuster can delay the progress of a bill by months.

What's intriguing is where the word filibuster comes from. Apparently it's borrowed from Spanish word filibustero and, when you look that one up, its synonyms include corsairo, bucanero and pirata, which gives you a fair idea of what are considered to be the intentions of the filibustering parties. It's a lovely thought that the filbusteros might attend a sitting costumed as Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow. I live in hope...

The reconciliation which, on the other hand, forces a vote to be taken before a fixed deadline, seems to relate to the idea of becoming reconciled, ie being made to accept something inevitable but distasteful. From all reports it had little to do with reconciliation as 'restoration of friendly relations'.

And freebooting? Well, that's a direct translation of the Dutch word from which the Spanish, via the French, got filibuster in the first place. Nothing to do with shoes, just abundant booty. Arrr!'

 

Miranda

19 Responses to

Freebooting

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wurlitzer said:
June 11, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Strange

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ladawg said:
June 13, 2010 at 5:31 AM

The filibuster does allow the minority party a greater voice in the Senate chamber and forces a piece of legislation to have over 60% support from the Senators. The Democrats 'short-circuited' these long standing rules, against the will of the majority of Americans, in order to pass the legislation. If you thought this was interesting, wait until the congressional elections in November.

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said:
June 13, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Dear Miranda You write absolute drivel which the average person is not the least interested.

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vanyaddt said:
June 13, 2010 at 11:04 PM

As someone who has been studying English as a foreign language, I have always tried to learn not just the words themselves but something about their etymology too, hoping that will help me create associations and remember them better. This is why, Miranda, I enjoy articles like yours so much. Don't lose heart - there are people who don't think that what you write is drivel. Anyway, I really find it difficult to understand what people who are not fascinated with words and their origin do on sites like YouPlay.

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rock_star said:
June 14, 2010 at 10:36 AM

that is very strange.

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said:
June 14, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Dear Vanyaddt I suggest you look up the etymology of "pseudo-intellectual". This is a game site designed for the relaxation of the everyday people. As for your "understanding difficulty" perhaps more study is required ,may I suggest that you visit English Literature websites.

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June 14, 2010 at 12:50 PM

pedro2, have you ever heard the term "freedom of speech?" I know that you practice it to a rather insulting extent for yourself, but the term actually intends to mean "freedom of speech for all." HMMM. I enjoyed your article, by the way, Miranda. Finding out the etymology of words and their meanings is one of the fun things on this and other crossword puzzle sites.

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tonianne said:
June 14, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Good for you Liesl. You put so eloquently exactly what I was thinking. We should never forget that we are lucky enough to live in a country where freedom of speech is encouraged by all, even those who disagree with you.

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said:
June 14, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Dear Liesl "Freedom of speech! Politically correct! Cat amongst the pigeons!" HMMM If I have offended your sensibilities....too bad.

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tonianne said:
June 14, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Ah pedro2, that is the beauty of free speech. You have the right to offend people by your comments & we have the right to think of you as we wish, good or bad.

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June 14, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Hey Pedro, I mentioned nothing about politics, I am rather apolitically inclined. Furthermore, I love cats and would never compare you to one. Even among pigeons (which I also like, and in fact feed daily in my back yard).

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daisy007 said:
June 14, 2010 at 9:40 PM

Dear Pedro....I don't normally get involved in disputes but agree with the ladies on this one about freedom of speech and may I add that you also have the freedom to not read what is put before you and just enjoy the site....cheers

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June 15, 2010 at 12:03 AM

Aaarrrrr indeed! Loved your article, although I already know what a filibuster is. Mind you, if we could see Captain Jack Sparrow in Parliament any time soon, PASS ME A VOTING STRIP! As for Pedro (above) I reckon he is being deliberately provocative - probably in need of a good filibuster himself... Warmest regards to you, Miranda, and keep up the good (and VERY interesting) work.

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Staff

climbo said:
June 17, 2010 at 2:58 PM

pedro2, I would assume then that you are one of the mentioned average persons, and hence not interested in the article? If so, why do you bother reading it in the first place and then posting about it?

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ganojomo said:
June 17, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Oh my!! A fracas!! Personally, I really enjoy Miranda's articles, as I too am interested in the etymology of our language. Pedro is entitled to his opinion, just as we are entitled to disagree with him. Long live freedom of speech!!

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vanyaddt said:
June 19, 2010 at 4:33 PM

The last thing I meant to initiate was a fracas. All I wanted to point out to Pedro was that it was rude to describe as "drivel" the efforts of Miranda and all the rest working on YouPlay to enable us the users both to enjoy ourselves and learn interesting facts about the English language. So let's do just that and be grateful to them!

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Novista said:
June 20, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Maybe average pedro doesn't like words. How about acronyms? Here's on for ya: GFY.

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Rockman said:
September 06, 2010 at 1:47 AM

Politics frightens me! One would hope systems are set up to facilitate full and formal debate on policies and then that all and every method to expedite the passing of policy would be undertaken. Stop shooting yourself in the foot politics!

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Rockman said:
September 06, 2010 at 1:50 AM

Stupid politics! Arrr!