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Word of the Year: Internecine

in·ter·nec·ine (ĭn′tər-nĕs′ēn′, -ĭn, -nē′sīn′)
1. Of or relating to struggle within a nation, organization, or group.
2. Mutually destructive; ruinous or fatal to both sides.
3. Characterized by bloodshed or carnage.
[Latin internecīnus, destructive, variant of internecīvus, from internecāre, to slaughter : inter-, intensive pref.; see inter- + nex, nec-, death; see nek-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

Word History: Internecine was first recorded in English in 1663, and at that time was used with the meaning “deadly” as part of the phrase internecine war. The Latin source of the word, spelled both internecīnus and internecīvus, meant “fought to the death, murderous.” It is a derivative of the verb necāre, “to kill.”

However, in the 1700s, when Samuel Johnson was working on his great dictionary, he included internecine with the meaning “endeavoring mutual destruction.” Some scholars believe that Johnson’s definition was an error; that he misunderstood the prefix inter- as meaning “between” (which is its usual meaning) rather than as an intensifier meaning “all the way.”

Regardless of where Johnson’s definition came from, his dictionary was so popular and considered so authoritative that his definition sparked a slight shift in the usage of internecine. From this point, more and more people began to use the word to imply a type of conflict in which opposing sides attempt mutual destruction rather than one that is simply highly destructive and deadly.

This shift, which put the emphasis on a struggle between groups, paved the way for the eventual emergence of the sense that is most commonly used today, “relating to internal struggle within a nation, organization, or group.” This modern usage can be seen in the sentence “While he was becoming more and more closely drawn into the internecine politics of the Socialist party and its pro-Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik offshoots, she was getting a broader sense of the country, of what the Russian experiment meant to various people” (Mary V. Dearborn). — — The Free Dictionary

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  • Richard May 12, 2021, 9:22 AM

    “relating to internal struggle within a nation, organization, or group.”>>>

    When one side has pretty much locked-up the means of communication and the formal indoctrination system, it ain’t gonna be much of a struggle.

  • James ONeil May 12, 2021, 9:34 AM

    Word of the decade; Internecine

  • Sean May 12, 2021, 10:24 AM

    When the Spanish Civil War began, the Leftists had just kicked off the kinetic part by unlawfully arresting, and executing, their opposition. Perchance they believed that was easier than stuffing ballot boxes again to keep the Right from power. Never the less, both sides understood they were deficient in arms to fight the obvious internecine struggle on the doorstep. In some cases, mob met opposing mob intent on sacking the local armory, which degenerated into a bloody gang fight with knives, machetes, bottles, clubs, etc. I don’t think we’ll have that here. I think the country will erupt into gunfire from one end to the other, and the leftists again coming up short. Internecine is a nice Latin way of putting hometown butchery in perspective. This will not end well. Alea iacta est.

  • ghostsniper May 12, 2021, 10:26 AM

    The shooting has been going on for quite awhile.
    Like everything else, people become numb to it.
    Except for the people being shot, and the shooters.
    Stay out of the way, leviathan is stumbling.

  • Skorpion May 12, 2021, 12:08 PM

    @ghostsniper: I often describe it as “a slow-motion civil war.”

  • SoylentGreen May 12, 2021, 12:16 PM

    I’m afraid that the current “troubles” are not internecine. We have shown our putrid belly and the enemy without is waiting like a spider.

  • Casey Klahn May 12, 2021, 12:36 PM

    Skorpion and SGreen: high five. The phrases you have used are apt.

    I was thinking about watching Joker, for the third time. It was upsetting to watch it, the first time, because I could see it was attempting to be prophetic film-making. Now, looking back at the movie, shit has gotten way, way worse than Joker predicts.

    Slow-motion civil war, indeed. Have you ever watched a snow fan begin to roll slowly down hill at you? It runs just on top of the snow surface, and is about 4-6 inches thick, but maybe 200 feet wide, depending on the lay of the slope. It potentiates disaster, but sometimes it peters out. Like Ukraine a couple weeks ago. Pfft. Probably Hamas v. Israel will have the same ending, for the near term.

    But, a kinetic American CW II? I watched an avalanche in Alaska, below Denali. It was evening, and the weight of the ice on the NE face of Mt Foraker released as it caught the shadow of dusk. Flocking huge, noisy, and with a spindrift a mile high. Earth, in all its majesty, in one violent moment. Not like the movies; much, much grander and actually indescribable.

    You don’t want the war; you want the petered-out surface runout.

    Good luck.

  • ghostsniper May 12, 2021, 2:30 PM

    My wife came in from the mail box awhile ago and said, “Oh no.”, as she handed me a document from the IRS. These diabolical bastards have plagued me almost all of my adult life, and still. I tore it open and it was a “letter” from that asshole in the oval office. The “letter” said he is fulfilling his promise to me and that he was putting $1400 in my bank account. WTFF? Is nothing MINE any more? Like say, MY bank account? How come every tom and dikless harry has access to my account and can use it as they see fit? Is there no such thing as fiduciary agreements any more? Apparently not.

    Ya know, my ol’ gray haired Pappy hated banks and he hated credit and wishe he didn’t have to use either one. Us kids used to think he lost his mind when he got on one of his rants about some bank process or tax inquiry. Some where along the line, I think about 1988, I turned into my Pappy. I remember the look in my sons eyes when I would rant, just like my Pappy, and his eyes looked like mine when I was his age. Now, my son is the age I was in ’88, self employed, a child, and understands why I am not as insane as he thought I was so long ago, because he sees the same thing in his daughters eyes I saw in his, a generation ago.

    I don’t want any gov’t stolen money. I want only what I have earned. I didn’t ask for it nor did I vote for it. I had no choice at all. If I send it back to the IRS you have no idea the nightmare that will conjure. If I didn’t have a bank account I suppose that asshole in the big house would have sent me a check, which I could have just torn up and throw away. I did that with the $300 atm cards they sent last year. So it is my bank that I have the beef with. How dare they let criminals park money in my account?

    The day is coming that I tell the bank to blow us and keep my coin total and close, just like most people did in the sane past. I haven’t had any debt in 15 years nor do I have any bills that I can’t pay right now in cash. WTF do I need a bank for? Yes, some adjustments would be required, but not many, and I believe there would be some simplification in my life that would offset any benefit to letting other people control my stuff. Kunstler says we’re headed back to the 17th century and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. Stop it? I’m pushing in that direction! Less people. Less crime. Less across the board, of mostly things and processes that are not necessary. I welcome the future but long for the past – maybe those 2 things will unite in my lifetime.

  • EX-Californian Pete May 12, 2021, 3:21 PM

    Seems like a pretty fitting word for what’s going on nowadays.
    A word I’ve been using lately to rile ignorant people is “inward.”

    Example- “Wow, don’t act like such an inward guy.”
    They always think I’m saying “N-word.” It’s fun.

    Ghost, I’m with you on that. I haven’t gotten any “Covid Relief” money, nor do I ever want to get any.
    And yeah, YOUR bank account is YOURS, and no one else should have ANY kind of access to- it unless their name is also on the account.
    I suggest you bury or stash a sizeable chunk of funds “for a rainy day.” I did, and don’t miss the puny 0.000000002% or whatever pathetic interest I was getting on it. But keep in mind that banks “alert” the IRS for each deposit/withdrawal of $10K or more. (per month) They’ll think you’re a drug lord or something.

    Serious suggestion for all- never put all your savings in ONE account. The FDIC only insures an account ‘up to’ $250,000, so if you have more than that in it, it’s not covered. Divvy it up into separate accounts.

    Also, I’ve been investing in precious metals- LEAD and BRASS. The hell with silver and gold.
    A metric ton of lead right now- about $1800. A metric ton of steel- about $110.

  • rust May 13, 2021, 7:44 AM

    A related bit of info: if you have an ebay acct the only way you will be allowed to continue using it after May 21 is if you submit to ebay your bank acct number and routing info so that all payments to you will be directly deposited into your acct by ebay.

  • Dirk May 13, 2021, 9:51 AM

    Hmm, I’ll take the United States for 5000.00 Pat!

    While many of you seem to have given up on this grand nation, I refuse to. This is MY home, We are a great and benevolent nation. The sole source of our nations hate and problems is a shit hole of a place known as DC.

    Fear not!

    Village Idiot

  • ghostsniper May 13, 2021, 9:51 AM

    In 2010 I kicked both ebay and paypal to the curb. They use mafia tactics.

    I sold a mint condition vintage Pioneer PL70 Turntable in the original box with all the accessories for $840 on ebay. Over $900 with insured double boxed shipping from here to NJ. The buyer paid me immediately with paypal and paypal held the money for 3 days and then I transferred it to my bank account. At that point I had been dealing with ebay and paypal since the late 90’s.

    The buyer received the turntable and emailed me that it was not what he bought, filed a complaint with ebay and paypal, and sent the turntable back to me. Apparently the turntable had been destroyed in shipping and I had told the buyer to file a claim with the post office. He refused to do that and sent it to me. A few days later someone from ebay called me on the phone late at night and tried to pressure me to return the money back to paypal. I refused of course. This went back and forth for a month and then paypal and ebay banned me.

    My bank at the time, Fifth Third, called me and said paypal was making constant inquiries about the balance in my account which I had drained. I told the bank I did not want paypal accessing my account in any way and the branch manager told me that I had already given paypal access to my bank and the only way to get them off my back was to close the account, which I did. I then opened another account at the bank across the road from fifth third. During the interim if I had deposited any money in the fifth third account paypal would have instantly siphoned it off. See what’s going on here? When you sign on to paypal you have given them total access to all the funds you have in the account. That was in the fine print of that 1000 page thing you agreed to in the beginning but did not read. I will never deal with any of the 3 entities involved in that tragedy.

    The turntable?
    It’s still in it’s box on a shelf in my workshop and one day I will get it out and see if I can rebuild it, but it was in real bad shape. To be in the condition it was when it was sent back to me, a large and powerful person would have had to pick it up over his head and slam it full force on a concrete floor. fuk paypal and ebay to def

  • rust May 13, 2021, 2:37 PM

    Thanks for helpful anecdotal info, ghost. I think I’m about one step away from taking the steps you took to separate myself from paypal also. And no more ebay.

    Somehow I will manage.

  • ghostsniper May 13, 2021, 6:05 PM

    @rust, Take note, if they have ever had access to your bank account they will ALWAYS have access, so the only way to get rid of them is to close the account (and open one in another bank (not another branch in the same bank system) if you so choose). Persevere.

    What I have just done in these several comments is to strike back at the goliaths that have attacked me in the past, in the only safe way that I can. I am not a person to be violated, by anyone.