Every blog deserves its obligatory, unavoidably awkward first post.
So instead of telling you about what this new blog will contain, or who I am, or what’s coming next- I am going to talk about the word “obligatory”.
Not only is it a beautifully rhythmic word, but one whose spelling is tricky enough to lead me to dictionary.com. The definition: mandatory, required, contractual. The etymology? From the French “obligatoire” meaning the same.
The word oblige has three distinctive rivers of meaning- to pledge or commit oneself, to bind or bandage, or to be indebted to someone. Obligation is about a tie to duty- it’s more complex than an urge or compulsion. You can break down the word “oblige” into two parts. “Ob” is sort of a latin, all inclusive pronoun. “Lig” is related to the latin “ligamentum” – to bind. A more familiar cousin is the grisly word “ligament”.
Ligaments are, in biology, the jointy tissue that binds together your bones.
I think in this study a new, poetic definition is formed. Obligatory is a bond past skin and blood, but to bone. Deep and sturdy. Human.
Thanks etymonline.com for helping me avoid doing any actual work, because researching random words is super important compared to that logo I have to design and those finances I need to balance.
The moral of the story- I’m literally entertained by everything. Hope you are too.