What's in a Word | All Blogs


Dressing up a word

By Debra Dobbins

The month of January begins a new year. It often is the time for new political beginnings, too. After the recent midterm elections, many newly elected state and national officials will take the oath of office and begin their new duties.

Or will they commence their new duties? Commence means basically the same thing as begin, but it has a more formal tone. People in high office like to use more formal language to describe what they do.

For example, they may want to initiate (begin) new laws. Initiate also has a more formal tone.

Some, such as Governor-elect John Hickenlooper, will have an inaugural celebration. (Central High School student Destinee Reed has been asked to perform at the event. See photo below and full story in today’s paper.)

Inaugurate is a synonym for begin, too. It, however, “suggests a formal or ceremonial beginning or opening,” according to Webster’s.

When Reed performs “My Colorado,” her musical tribute to our state, here’s bettin’ it’ll begin a successful musical career for her.


 

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