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In­cen­dio and In­cen­di­ary

In­cen­dio (Span­ish for “fire”) comes from the Latin for the same, in­cendi­um. From this same root, we get the Eng­lish… in­cen­di­ary. The Eng­lish vari­a­tion lit­er­al­ly means the same — set­ting on fire — but now that de­f­i­n­i­tion is most­ly for­got­ten, and we use it in a more ab­stract sense: caus­ing mas­sive prob­lems. A fire is just a mas­sive prob­lem, af­ter all.


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