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Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:
SUBVENTION
When more than 350 editors gathered in New Orleans last week for the 16th national conference of the American Copy Editors Society, many came on their own dime; they lacked subvention.
In a broad sense, the word (pronounced sub-VEN-shun) means provision of support, but it is more commonly used in a narrower sense of a subsidy, an endowment, a grant of financial aid. Such aid is often from a government to an institution. If you choose to use it, you run the risk of sounding antique or British (not quite the same thing).
As with so many -tion words, it arrives in English from the Latin. The Middle English subvencioun is taken from the late Latin subventio, "assistance," deriving ultimately from the verb subvenire, "to come to help."
Example: From "He also protected Protestantism, the members of which were entitled to all the benefits secured to the other Christian communions, 'with the exception of pecuniary subvention.'"

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