|Saturday, August 17, 2002||
AGENDA seems to be on everybody’s mind these days. Earlier, an agenda used to be a list of things — set down on an agenda paper — to be discussed at a formal meeting. Today, it is a list of grievances, demands or plans close to the heart of a particular individual or group. There are moral agendas, social agendas, political agendas and even emotional agendas. The simple ‘ulterior motive’ is today the sinister ‘hidden agenda’; one can say one thing and mean another, even if one is not a politician! Etymologically, agenda is already plural, derived from the Latin agendum, meaning that which is to be done. Originally, the agenda were the practical demands of a Christian life, as opposed to the credenda, the beliefs.
accessories, furniture and gadgets have become quite the vogue.
Literally speaking, this means ‘clothes with burn marks on them’.
For, brand comes from the German brand, to burn. It dates back
to the time when cattle were branded with a hot iron for quick
identification. In olden times, slaves and criminals were branded as
well. History records the branding of felons in 1822 with an ‘F’
burnt on the cheek. It was in the year 1827 that a trader branded his
name on the boxes of his product for the first time. Today, brand has
come to apply not to the mark but to the product itself, as in ‘my
brand of toothpaste’.
Everyone talks about a holistic approach to life, but what exactly does holistic mean? Jan Smuts, a barrister, soldier, statesman and philosopher, coined the word holism in 1926. He coined it to designate the tendency in nature to produce organised wholes from the ordered grouping of units; wholes like organisms. Smuts based his word on the Greek holos, meaning whole or holism was picked up by the world of philosophy quickly. In the 1960s, medicine latched onto it, using it for a therapeutic approach that attempts to treat the whole person, rather than just the disease. These days, people can adopt holistic management, visit a holistic priest, take holistic financial advice or, shop holistically, i.e., ponder over the fate of mother earth before buying anything ecologically inappropriate!
similarity between languages can be quite a surprise sometimes. The
Hindi word anushasan is discipline in English and means the same
in Hindi too. But in Sanskrit, the language of its origin, anushasan refers
to the system of a subject or education. Now, discipline comes from the
Latin discipulus, meaning education. How could the same
etymological journey be made by two words in different languages?
Perhaps, the clue lies in the human mind. Since a guru imparts education
and also teaches the rules of behaviour, hence, the orderly side of