This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Spot the Frippet: insignia.

Strangely, the last thing insignia are is, well, insignificant.

Insignia show that you belong to a group, or an office, or that you have certain responsibilities.

They might be a sign of belief:


or rank:

illustration by René L'Hôpital
or function:

This Red Cross nurse was called Iola.

They show what you stand for. They make clear why you are in a place. They indicate that you are acting on behalf of a group, and not individually.

A man with a gun who's wearing clothes with insignia on them is probably a soldier (or perhaps, though very rarely in England, a policeman).

A man with a gun who is not wearing insignia...

...I'm afraid I don't know how you can tell what he is.

How could anyone?

Spot the frippet: insignia. This word comes from Latin, from insignis, which means distinguished by a mark, or prominent. The Latin signum means mark.

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