Definishn: Attitude (lat. attui = to view; tudo – suffix to make abstract noun)

Discussing with my Dutch colleagues recently, I used the phrase “it is their attitude”. Immediately, I sensed that I had said something awfully wrong. Pause. Then someone said “Oh – you certainly mean it in the American way”. And the air cleared. What happened?
For them, attitude means “arrogance”, “being uncollaborative”. In Dutch culture, that is the worst you can be. So – having an attitude (or saying such about colleagues)  is a very bad thing.
I meant it in a very neutral way: It is the way they think, their viewpoint.

Luckily, another trait of the Dutch is to not hold back, so this misunderstanding could be solved. Unknown however, how many  misunderstandings remained unresolved.

By the way: In the title of this post, I suggest a different etymology for attitude than the common dictionaries. I think they got it wrong. Why would attitude would come from ‘aptitude’ (lat. aptus =joined, fitted)?

Anyone?

 

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About jk1308
Virtually connected. IRL Tops: History of Language, Psychology, The Non-Logic, The Logic, Board Games, Crime Fiction & Mystery, Buyology, Neuroscience. xenoglossy

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