Bridgetymology – Conviction

HOW DID THE WORD CONVICTION COME TO SIMULTANEOUSLY DESCRIBE THE STATE OF YOUR BELIEFS IN AND THE FINDING OF GUILT IN A COURT OF LAW?

THROUGHOUT THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THE HISTORICAL ORIGIN OF THE WORD, HOW IT IS DEFINED,  AND HOW IT’S DEFINITION GREW OVER TIME TO INCLUDE THE VARIOUS MEANINGS OF THE WORD.

HERE AT BRIDGET, WE’RE HUGE FANS OF EXPANDING OUR VOCABULARY AND BECOMING BETTER COMMUNICATORS. THAT IS WHY TODAY, KESHIIA BREAKS DOWN THE WORD ‘CONVICTION’.

definition of conviction

1. THE ACT OR PROCESS OF FINDING A PERSON GUILTY OF A CRIME ESPECIALLY IN A COURT OF LAW

2. A. A STRONG PERSUASION OR BELIEF

    B. THE STATE OF BEING CONVINCED

3. A. THE ACT OF CONVINCING A PERSON OF ERROR OR OF COMPELLING THE ADMISSION OF A TRUTH

    B. THE STATE OF BEING CONVINCED OF ERROR OR COMPELLED TO ADMIT THE TRUTH

history of the word conviction

CONVICTION CAN BE BROKEN UP INTO TWO ORIGINAL ROOT WORDS: CON (MEANING “WITH”) AND VINCERE (MEANING “TO CONQUER”).  WITH CONQUER I.E. TO CONQUER.  IT’S A LITTLE STRANGE AS THE SYNTAX OF “WITH CONQUER” DOESN’T REALLY WORK BY OUR MODERN STANDARDS, BUT CONVINCERE EVENTUALLY CAME TO BE BOTH CONVICT AND CONVINCE… BOTH OF WHICH SIMPLY MEAN DEMONSTRATED, OR REFUTED.

THE HISTORY OF THE WORD CONVICTION CENTERS AROUND THE IDEA OF PROVING OR FINDING GUILT OF AN OFFENSE CHARGED, AS IN WHEN SOMEONE IS CONVICTED OF A CRIME. IN FACT, THE LATIN ROOT “CONVINCERE “, WHICH IS MADE UP OF VINCERE, TO CONQUER, WHICH ALSO GAVE US “VANQUISH”; COMBINED WITH “CON-“, A PREPOSITION MEANING “WITH”. THE ROOT “CONQUER WITH” GAVE RISE TO MEANINGS AS “CONVICTION” BOTH IN THE ENGLISH SENSE “BELIEF” AND THE SPECIFIC SENSE “TO BELIEVE GUILT”.   FROM THIS WE COULD EVEN INFER THAT TO CONVICT IS TO VANQUISH OR REFUTE DOUBT.

THE SECOND DEFINITION OF CONVICTION, I.E A STRONG PERSUASION OR BELIEF, DID NOT BEGIN TO EMERGE UNTIL MUCH LATER IN OUR HISTORICAL TIMELINE.  THE MEANING OF HAVING “MENTAL STATE OF BEING CONVINCED OR FULLY PERSUADED” DID NOT EMERGE UNTIL THE 1690S; AND THAT OF “FIRM BELIEF, A BELIEF HELD AS PROVEN” DIDN’T COME TO FRUITION UNTIL 1841.

perspective

BELIEF IS A POWERFUL THING. IT’S AKIN TO HOPE AND WHEN UTILIZED THE RIGHT WAY, THE WORD CONVICTION IS A WORD THAT DESCRIBES NOT JUST CONVINCING A JURY TO DETERMINE A HUMAN’S INNOCENCE OR GUILT BASED ON WHAT THEY BELIEVE TO BE TRUE, BUT IT BECOMES A WORD THAT DESCRIBES THE ABILITY TO CONQUER.  THUS HAVING THE STRENGTH OF ONE’S CONVICTIONS COULD BE INTERPRETED TO MEAN BOTH THAT A PERSON HAS STRONG CONVICTIONS, AND THAT A PERSON IS GIVEN STRENGTH THROUGH HAVING CONVICTIONS THEY BELIEVE IN.  AND WHEN YOU BELIEVE, YOU CAN CONQUER ANYTHING.

THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY’S BRIDG-ETYMOLOGY! PLEASE LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, SHARE AND LEAVE US REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK. IF THERE ARE WORDS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HEARING, PLEASE SHARE THEM! WE ARE LISTENING AND ARE SO APPRECIATIVE OF YOUR SUPPORT!

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