This week's word brought to you by Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen, a really interesting read about the real stories behind our American history myths, from Plymouth Rock to Vietnam, and the sociological implications of teaching these myths.
In other news, I will be gone next weekend. If anyone is interested in doing the word for Saturday please let me or nerdfury know. Otherwise, have a good weekend!
Syncretism [sing-kri-tiz-uhm, sin-] noun
1. the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.
2. (grammar) the merging, as by historical change in a language, of two or more categories in a specified environment into one, as, in nonstandard English, the use of was with both singular and plural subjects, while in standard English was is used with singular subjects (except for you in the second person singular) and were with plural subjects.
Origin 1610–20; < NL syncretismus < Gk synkrētismós union of Cretans, i.e., a united front of two opposing parties against a common foe, deriv. of synkrēt(ízein) to syncretize + -ismos-ism
The Spanish introduction of horses to Plains culture in 16th century America produced a dramatic efflorescence of syncretism throughout the new world. Yet it is also important to see how these events also connect an otherwise independent society to a global economy- for example, the Lapps in Norway replaced their sled dogs with snowmobiles and for the first time in the history of their community they must care about the politics that affect oil supply.