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Acon­tec­imien­to and Con­ta­gion

The Span­ish acon­tec­imien­to (“some­thing that hap­pened; event”) comes from the Latin con­tigere (“to touch”).

How did that trans­for­ma­tion hap­pen? An event is some­thing that you touch, at least metaphor­i­cal­ly, or that touch­es you. Some­thing that hap­pens that does­n’t touch you is just in your mind: not a re­al event!

From the same Latin root, we al­so get a few nifty Eng­lish words in­clud­ing:

  • Con­tact — That is lit­er­al­ly touch­ing, right?
  • Con­ta­gious — How do you get some­thing that is con­ta­gious? Through touch­ing!
  • Con­tigu­ous — Two things that are con­tigu­ous are touch­ing each oth­er!
  • Con­tin­gent — One thing that is con­tin­gent up­on an­oth­er is a metaphor­i­cal form of touch­ing it as well.

We can see the c‑n-t root in both the Span­ish and Eng­lish words.

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