Sincerely Yours

One of the most used words in a social context is the word “sincere.” We have traditionally used it as a complimentary close in personal and business letters. It’s meaning is clear. The use of the word means that you are not being false in any way but are writing, in the case of a letter, with no hidden intent. In other words, you mean what you say. The same applies to the oral use of this word. When someone says they sincerely believe that they are going to be successful, they truly believe it. I learned years ago, certainly before I read about it in Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, that this word takes on even more clarity when its derivation is revealed. “Sincere” is derived from two Latin words: “sine,” meaning without, and “cera,” the Latin word for wax. It seems that, in the days of Roman and Greek classical architecture, some columns were made of wood. The more expensive the wood, the fewer flaws or holes it contained, caused by decay or insects. However, in order to conceal some of the flaws of imperfect wood, wax was sometimes poured into the holes so that the wood would appear unflawed. Therefore, the perfect wood columns were “sine cera,” without wax, and therefore more stable and worthy of the classicism they illustrated. Would that we could count on the “sincerity” of many of today’s politicians who appear to campaign quite insincerely, “not without wax.”


About bobosbest

I am an 80-year-old retired English teacher whose writing goals are fulfilled by publishing these blogs. I have a wonderful married partner, Dimitris Tsitsiras, who is from Greece. Life is good and still an adventure.
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