What's in a Word | All Blogs

A priceless passport

By Debra Dobbins

A teenaged friend now has her first passport and is excitedly anticipating a trip to Italy soon. I'm pleased she's going – not only for her sake, but also for the sake of our country. Since she's well-educated, exquisitely polite and quite articulate, I believe she'll make a wonderful young ambassador for the United States.

The word “passport” came into English in the late 15th century, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. It signified “authorization to enter or depart from a port,” the dictionary notes, adding that the word comes from “French passeport, from passer ‘to pass’ + port ‘seaport.’”

I look forward to having coffee with my friend upon her return and hearing about her trip. Maybe then I'll mention this quote by Malcolm X: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

I bet she'll agree.


Illustration special to the Sentinel


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