Recent global geo-political events exist in a twenty-first century social media fish bowl.

Putin invades Russia and the world watches from a coffee shop window.

It's true, it's not the first tragic military action since the start of the communications renaissance; but it is the first to enter the western mind in a personal way, as if it's happening to you and I.

In 1940, people knew what they were told. Today, anybody can capture anything on social media, and it will get around.

The world is watching.

What does this mean? Is it a good thing?

Elon Musk recently challenged Putin to one on one combat, for Ukraine.

You can almost picture Putin reading the tweet, from his long lonely gilded breakfast table, undoubtedly uncomfortably.

I have to say it, politics is not my specialty. It never was. And it's not in any way the intended theme for this magazine; but this is what everybody is talking about right now.

And so, in an effort to at least touch on the subject, let's just say that, from our view, social media is a good thing.

Unless governments do away with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, social media matters.

How long can large scale international conflict last with billions of people watching from the coffee shop window?

And that brings us to this etymology post. Today's word is "Large."

It turns out the etymological origin of large, is 'living large,' an activity which in excess, from a coffee shop window, may come with additional costs.


Websters 1913 dictionary, still an eloquent compendium among English language dictionaries, describes 'largess' with 'generosity.'


{ Lar"gess, Lar"gesse (?), } n. [F. largesse, fr. large. See Large, a.]

1. Liberality; generosity; bounty. [Obs.]

"Fulfilled of largesse and of all grace."

~ Chaucer.

2. A present; a gift; a bounty bestowed.

"The heralds finished their proclamation with their usual cry of "Largesse, largesse, gallant knights!" and gold and silver pieces were showered on them from the galleries."

~ Sir W. Scott.

Today, the word has also excessive connotations.

Our feature image then comes from "Times Newspapers," in the U.K. and pictures Gulliver, of Jonathon Swift's "Gulliver's Travels," all tied up by the Liliputians.

Of course, in Gulliver's Travels, the Liliputians are antagonists, but, with a little imagination, those following Western media can readily imagine another storyline.


"Latin largus, a word of unknown origin, meant abundant and also generous. It retained the latter meaning when it came to English via Old French large (the poor King Reignier, whose 'large' style agrees not with the leanness of his purse, Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI 1593), but this now survives only in the derivative largesse. Abundant, on the other hand, has provided the basis of the main modern English meaning of great size, which emerged in the 15th century."

~ John Ayto, "Dictionary of Word Origins."