Can Salvo Be Nice?

It All Depends on What You Mean

Nowadays, someone describing you as nice is considered a compliment. But I didn't know until a few years ago that our word "nice" has a surprisingly long history, going all the way back to the Latin word nescius, which means "not to know," best translated as "ignorant" or "unaware." (To find out how the meaning of "nice" has changed, read Rick Reed's Decode on page 11.)

Obviously, no one wants to be considered "nice" in the ancient Latin sense of "ignorant." On the other hand, you've also heard people say, "Ignorance is bliss." Clearly, there is information we all need to know, information that is superfluous to most of us (e.g., quantum...


is the executive editor of Salvo and the  Director of Publications for the Fellowship of St. James.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #61, Summer 2022 Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


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