Discuss word origins and meanings.
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:32 pm

<2019 “Trump and White House officials have said they don't know the identity of the whistleblower but the president nonetheless dismissed the person's actions as ‘partisan.’ And officials at the Justice Department on Wednesday affirmed that the intelligence community's inspector general found ‘some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the complainant in favor of a rival political candidate,’ the IC concluded that the complaint's allegations nonetheless appeared ‘credible.’”—, 25 September>
Never heard the word ‘indicia’ before, but I like it. Short and sweet and with multiple meanings that all point in the same direction.

Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary

indicia noun (in-dish-ee-uh)

plural indicia or indicias

singular indicium

1a) A distinctive mark that indicates or that is felt to indicate the nature or quality or existence or reality of something; Identifying marks; indications, signs, tokens, criteria <He had in fact all the indicia of divinity. ><many indicia of truth><the real indicia of civilization><press opinion and other indicia of public sentiment>
1b) A significant or apparently significant fact or piece of evidence connected with or deduced from a set of circumstances and giving rise to conjectures having some probability of accord with the truth<They studied her belongings carefully but could discover no indiciaas to what had become of her.>

2a) (1) A postal marking (as on bulk mail or business reply envelopes) often imprinted on mail or on labels to be affixed to mail and used in place of postage stamps to indicate prepayment of postage (as by use of a postage meter or by receipt of a special permit) (2) A postal marking or verbal statement often imprinted on mail or on labels to be affixed to mail and used to indicate the class or type of a piece of mail or to give directives (as with regard to the proper place for an address) or some other information (as that a piece of mail may be opened for inspection by a postmaster)
2b) An identifying marking or verbal statement used to single out one thing from another <Each object had a tag carrying its indicia> or to serve as directional guides. <Each card in the file has indicia that show the location of each book on the shelf.>

Etymology: Latin, plural of indicium sign, mark, from indicare to point out, indicate.

First Known Use: circa 1626 (sense 1a)

The following quotes are from The Oxford English Dictionary and archived sources:
<1673 “A ridiculous Garb is the most certain indicium of a foolish person.”—A Gentlewomans Companion by Hannah Wolley, page 55>

<1815 “The corpse afforded no other indicia respecting the fate of Kennedy.”—Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott, I. x. page 154>

<1862 “We may perhaps rather wonder that Hipparchus should have succeeded in discovering this truth by means of the far and faint indicia which were within his reach.”—The Astronomy of the Ancients by G. C. Lewis, iv. page 1>

<1919 “. . . there must be a delivery of the subject matter of the gift or the essential indicia of the title to it . . .”—The Guardian (London, England), 23 April, page 37>

<1973 “As the selection process is completed the customer reads the total charges from the machine and inserts enough money to obtain the meter-like postal indicia. To conclude the transaction the machine dispenses indicia and receipt and when necessary makes change up to 99 cents.”—The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 10 June>

<1991 “AGH has all the trappings and indicia of a for-profit corporation engaged in in the health-care business,’ lawyers for the City of Pittsburgh wrote in a legal brief filed in January.”—the Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 4 March, page 40>

<2012 “Beim notes that the examination of relative king safety ((in the game of chess)) is important, as are the coordination of the pieces on both sides. And indicia such as weakness and strong points are valuable.”—The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 15 October, page G23>

<2019 “In an interview before a House committee on Dec. 7, 2018, Comey clarified. ‘My recollection was [Flynn] was – the conclusion of the investigators was he was obviously lying, but they saw none of the normal common indicia of deception: that is, hesitancy to answer, shifting in his seat, sweating, . . . There’s no doubt that he was lying, but that those indicators weren’t there.’”—Reno Gazette-Journal (Reno Nevada), 31 March, page A10>

Ken Greenwald – October 4, 2019

Re: indicia

Post by trolley » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:34 pm

I like it, too but it got pretty confusing when I tried to determine whether there was any difference between an indicium and an indication/indicator. BTW...It appears the spell-check on this site isn't a big fan of the word...

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