Wacky Word Wednesday

Vendetta – Wacky Word Wednesday

Everyone has a favorite movie genre. While some people prefer heart-wrenching romantic comedy, others enjoy the adrenaline-pumping action movies. If you are a fan of plot-twist filled thrillers, today’s Wacky Word Wednesday is the right word for you.

quo topVendetta

[ven-ˈde-tə]

noun

Blood feud; an often prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts or exchange of such acts

quo botVendetta

Originating from Latin vindicta, meaning “vengeance,” today’s wacky word is an Italian word first used in the mid-19th century. The original definition of the word is “a private war in which a kinsman wreaks vengeance on the slayer of a relative,” which is commonly referred to as a “feud”. In general, feuds begin when one party claims itself to have been attacked, insulted or wronged by another; the feelings of hatred trigger the initial retribution. The conflict, then fueled with a never-ending cycle of retaliatory violence, is difficult to resolve peacefully.

Until the 1450s, vendettas, among other feuds, were considered legitimate and were only regulated to some degree. As described in anthropologist Max Gluckman’s famous article “The Peace in the Feud,” in tribal societies, blood feuds as well as the practice of blood wealth functioned as powerful form of social regulation that subdued conflicts and/or violence between kinsmen.

Today, the movie industry has adapted the concept of vendetta to express revenge, a long-lasting period of violence and even freedom. A graphic-novel-turned movie, V for Vendetta, is a successful reworking of the word into political and social satire. Set in a dystopian future-British tyranny, the film, highlighted by its sharp red and black shadowy contrast, used the character V as a freedom fighter rather than an anarchist in the original comic. Another more loyal adaptation of the word is an action and thriller film series called Vendetta, telling a revenge story of a special ops interrogation officer tracking down the murderers of his parents.

Finally, here are two examples of using vendetta in a sentence:

  • He waged a personal vendetta against his rivals in the Senate. (Merriam-Webster)

And that’s all for today’s edition of Wacky Word Wednesday. See you next week as we turn the spotlight on another peculiar word.

 

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