Friday, March 9, 2007


Collegial (DD definition link)

I've been a little distracted lately for uninteresting words, but a conversation with some friends this evening made this word a little more inspiring, at least for usage. But first, a quick discussions about etymology. Ultimately, this word derives from "law", which, of course, intrigues me! Lawyers are hardly ever collegial. There's all that adversarial process, and competition for billable hours and getting plum projects, etc. So, the idea really is about simply working together, whether it be happily or otherwise. And the issue about "choosing a deputy" indicates that the co-worker would be subordinate. The connection that these co-workers must be at least tacitly happy is incorrect. There is an inherent power struggle and simply that these individuals must exist in the same association (whether office or clerical, in the religious sense). In practice, the responsibility is never shared equally, and by the etymology, should never be. Perhaps we can only be hopeful that these individuals will simply get along. Which now leaves me with my usage: Is there really a collegial atmosphere between tenured and non-tenured faculty? You pick your definition of collegial...

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