Word of the Week Wednesday: Ombudsman


This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: ombudsman.

An ombudsman is a type of public advocate who investigates complaints from private citizens against government entities.

The word comes from Swedish, which I suppose is what makes it such an interesting sounding word.

I remember hearing the word for the first time when I was a kid watching a rerun of Good Times.

As often happened when I was young (and still to some extent today), when I would hear an interesting word, I would assume it had an interesting meaning, even if I had to make one up.

Almost inevitably, I would end up disappointed when a fantastical sounding word ended up meaning something utterly prosaic.

Don’t get me wrong, public advocacy is an important thing, but I find it difficult to be excited or enchanted by bureaucratic functions.

Ombudsman sounds to me like an exotic superhero type person.

It’s a shame that it’s not.

 

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About Dan Kingsepp, ACS, ALS
I'm starting this blog to share my thought on the use of the English language and my experiences as a Toastmaster.

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