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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


            The word rule exists in society as a noun and in verb form; most ordinarily defining the senses relating to regulations and principles, or the action of submitting influence, control, or government.[1] It is closely intertwined with the definition of law, representing rulings made by a judge or court, and regulations adopted by an organization for governing its members. Though, in more tangible cases rule refers to straight lines drawn on paper or thin strips of metal, and its verb form denotes the action of marking parallel straight lines with or without the use of a ruler.
            Some of the earliest forms of rule (n.) can be traced back to Anglo-Norman terms such as reulle and riwle, Old French ruile, and Middle French rieulle, ruille. Its definitions range from guideline or principle (1119), to straight edge, ruler (second half of 12th century), and government (1370 or earlier).[1] By the age of the Renaissance, the word rule (n.) began to take on meanings like mathematical principle (1341) and scientific principle (1371) whilst in 1538 becoming the ‘convention for playing a game’. 
[1] Likewise, earlier uses of rule (v.) arise from the Anglo-Norman, Old French, Middle French terms rieuler, ruler, and ruiler; all of which relate to the act of control, regulation, governance (1230), conducting oneself (1340 or earlier), and to mark out, delineate (late 12th century or earlier). [1] Moreover, rule (v.) has derivations from the classical Latin adjective rēgulāre, implying to regulate, rule’. In any case, in both forms of rule, its compositions trace back to the classical Latin word regula (n.), which at the time referred to an instrument such as rule or bar to aid in drawing straight lines or measurements; and even earlier to the latin verb regō defining two comparable actions. [1] [2] The first of which being, ‘I rule, govern’ and the second, ‘I guide, steer’. [2] However, in its most primitive form, rule arises from the Proto-Indo-European prefix [-reg], meaning to move in a straight line and has descendants to the Ancient Greek word ὀρέγω (v., oregō), ‘I reach, stretch, help’.[3]
delineates a concrete or common sense relating to order, standards, and axioms. An example of this occurrence is the pairing of the words, grammar and rules which then produces ‘a principle governing a regular feature of a language’. [1] Similarly, there exists an inevitable link between rule and order. Rules have coordination with mandates and discipline, and if followed, can vault an individual or group into a settled state or condition of good governance. Though, with the expression of rule, there also lies an implication of dominion. With a capital initial, Rule gains a proprietor and represents ‘a particular principle or procedure qualified by the person who discovered or expounded on it.’ [1] As a verb, rule brings these senses to a more personal level and in doing so, allows for the exertion of control and influence from one subject onto another; much like that of a government and its territory.

[1] "rule, n.1 : Oxford English Dictionary." Home : Oxford English Dictionary. http://oed.com/view/Entry/168717 (accessed November 20, 2012).

[2] "rego - Wiktionary." Wiktionary, the free dictionary. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rego#Latin
(accessed November 20, 2012).

[3] "Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/hreǵ-." Wiktionary, the free dictionary. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/h%E2%82%83re%C7%B5-
(accessed November 20, 2012).

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