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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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